Downtown Chicago ‘Teen Takeover’ Devolves Into Chaos

( – Friday and Saturday night is the usual time you’d expect to see a lot of young people gathering and goofing off. But sometimes things get out of hand when a group of teens doing a “Teen Takeover” turn a high-spirit gathering into a dangerous mob.

That’s what happened this last weekend in Chicago as meetups and gatherings were organized on social media, gearing up lots of excited youth to go out and have a long overdue get-together. The weekend came to a head after the end of a three-year health emergency and the arrival of spring weather.

Progressive Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson spoke out in a written statement saying, “In no way do I condone the destructive activity we saw in the Loop and lakefront this weekend. It is unacceptable and has no place in our city. However, it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.” 

Johnson continues, “Our city must work together to create spaces for youth to gather safely and responsibly, under adult guidance and supervision, to ensure that every part of our city remains welcome for both residents and visitors. This is one aspect of my comprehensive approach to improve public safety and make Chicago livable for everyone.”

Two teenage boys were shot and injured while standing in the crowd amid the chaos. They were transported to a hospital and are in stable condition. 

Some teens can be seen in videos of the “misadventure,” destroying windshields, dancing on the roofs of cars, committing assaults, and running through busy traffic. Chicago police subsequently arrested 15 individuals that night – 9 adults and 6 minors – mostly for reckless conduct. However, a few notable exceptions of weapons charges and vehicle theft were also among the charges.

Chicago’s current Mayor, Lori Lightfoot (D), only gently reminded parents to be responsible for their children’s whereabouts and behavior while condemning the “reckless, disrespectful and unlawful behavior” on display both Friday and Saturday night by the mob of teens. She added, “Instilling the important values of respect for people and property must begin at home.”

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