Chicagoans awaiting the inauguration of Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson (D) got a taste of how his “community policing” agenda may look after his issued response to teen rioting appeared to paint them as victims.
At least two teens were reportedly shot Saturday amid the chaos of hundreds running amok in downtown Chicago for a second consecutive night of mob violence that saw cars smashed and set on fire.
With his May 15 inauguration still weeks out, Johnson, the progressive Cook County commissioner who overcame a runoff election to defeat former Chicago public schools chief Paul Vallas to oust incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), reacted to the chaos with a statement on the “unrest” that condemned while seeking compassion.
“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,” he began. “However, it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.”
— Brandon Johnson (@Brandon4Chicago) April 16, 2023
“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,” Johnson went on. “This is one aspect of my comprehensive approach to improve public safety and make Chicago livable for everyone”
Of course, “adult guidance and supervision” has long been lacking in the Windy City where laws already exist regarding curfews and unaccompanied teens that go overlooked as leftist leadership has inched the once thriving metropolis closer toward dystopian ruin.
The rioting by youths went on for hours on Saturday night in Chicago. https://t.co/50VywVXArU
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) April 16, 2023
Playing her own role in that decline, Lightfoot, who last year had imposed further restrictions on Chicago youth that did not deter the weekend violence, issued her own statement as her tenure at City Hall waned.
“As I have said before, we as a city cannot and will not allow any of our public spaces to become a platform for criminal conduct,” her statement read.
“Most importantly, parents and guardians must know where their children are and be responsible for their actions,” she continued. “Instilling the important values of respect for people and property must begin at home.”
Even attendees at a baseball game in broad daylight were left to fend for themselves when a brawl broke out Saturday afternoon and security remained nowhere in sight for at least two minutes.
Meanwhile, Johnson has laid out his plan to turn down the temperature by claiming, “For too long the people of Chicago and quite frankly people all over the country have been given a false choice on how we actually deal with public safety. What our campaign proved is that you can actually demonstrate in a real way how critical investments are the necessary dynamics in order to prevent crime.”
“The way we [keep everybody safe] is by investing in people,” he added in his interview with CBS News. “There’s a direct correlation between youth employment and violence reduction. There’s a tremendous correlations between providing mental health care services and reducing crime.”
Notably, Johnson had retreated from his earlier position seeking to defund the police, but it remains to be seen how he will actually lead Chicago.
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