Over 100 teenagers went on a violent rampage in downtown Chicago on Saturday night that resulted in two teenage boys being shot, multiple cars being torched, and police barricades being breached.
Despite the destruction, the city’s mayor-elect, leftist Brandon Johnson, pushed back against critics of the teenagers on Sunday, urging them not to “demonize” the young perpetrators.
— Brandon Johnson (@Brandon4Chicago) April 16, 2023
He issued a statement condemning their behavior but implied that it was not entirely their fault, stating, “however, it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.” He went on to call for more spaces for youth to gather under adult guidance to improve public safety comprehensively.
Warning: Disturbing video.
This footage is included in a sort of "mix tape" of social media posts floating purporting to be from the "large group" incident in the Loop on Saturday night.
The woman is being attacked in the doorway of 129 North Wabash. #Chicago pic.twitter.com/1WugjCMfMT
— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) April 17, 2023
The event led to the arrest of 15 people, including nine adults and six children. Johnson’s statement was heavily criticized by detractors who interpreted it as an excuse for the teenagers’ behavior. One critic said, “you couldn’t even make it through the first paragraph without excusing the rioters,” while another cautioned that Johnson’s stance on the issue would bankrupt Chicago and lead to more crime and death.