Thursday, April 14, 2011

More Flash Mobbing and Wilding in Chicago Ignored By the Media

This letter sent out this week to Loyola students by Campus Safety is scary:
This past weekend, a serious incident took place at the McDonald’s located on the corner of Chicago and State. Due to the establishment’s proximity to the Water Tower Campus, we want to be sure you are aware of the situation.

On Sunday, a group of about 70 youths stormed the restaurant and created a disturbance. Approximately 10 Chicago Police Department (CPD) units responded and ultimately closed the restaurant for nearly three hours until peace was restored. Both CPD and Campus Safety believe this activity is related to the same group of individuals who have attempted to create havoc in the area before.
SEVENTY kids stampede McDonald's, closing it down for almost three hours, and not a single word is reported about it in the Chicago Sun Times or the Chicago Tribune.  This McDonald's is right by the Chicago red line stop, and within a few blocks of the Magnificent Mile.  It's reportedly a "gathering place" for the teenagers who want to flash mob and rob the nearby businesses and shoppers, due to its vicinity to the el.   

Grumblings on  local blogs indicate that the flash mobbing on Michigan Avenue stores hasn't stopped -- it just isn't being reported anymore.  Chicago News Report and Second City Cop pick them up, but to the mainstream its as if everything is just fine and dandy.  If past incidents and arrests for this kind of activity are any indication, this group of 70 youths are black teenagers from the south side.  But of course, no one will say that out loud (even though it is a fact), because it would sound terribly racist to point out who is actually causing this havoc.  They are taking a 20-30 minute train ride to the north side in order to steal and cause chaos.

The media doesn't report on this because it might hurt the tourist business.  You know what else hurts the tourist business?  Gangs of teenagers running at full speed down Michigan Avenue clutching stolen items.  Gangs of teenagers taunting and yelling at shoppers on Michigan Avenue.  I can attest that the atmosphere on Michigan Avenue has changed.  When are CPD and the Mayor going to do something about this?  When is the media going to demand some action?

Edit:  Apparently one reporter at the Sun Times did pick up on the story yesterday.  Yet he seems quite bewildered about what happened, and is even seeking information from any witnesses:
Chicago Police say Sunday was no big deal.
"There was a large crowd,” said a CPD spokesman. “Officers of the 18th District went and dispersed them. There were no arrests.”
And the restaurant closing for three hours?

“They voluntarily closed.”
Right, because businesses regularly "voluntarily close" for three hours on a weekend.  McDonald's wouldn't comment on the situation either.    

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