A beloved city to many could be a featured mockery in a Dr. Seuss book. "By twos, threes, elevens and thirteens, children rush in for five-finger shopping sprees. Officers deploy to catch them more, but arrest dancers in which public they perform."
There is a possibility that new police superintendent, Gary McCarthy, who was appointed by Chicago's new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is unqualified or yanking some political chain.
The duo, particularly Emanuel, cried foul on the grounds of media bias to the incidents on Michigan Avenue, also known as the "Magnificent Mile" and a main tourist attraction in Chicago. The mayor didn't predict that the media would jump on police assignments right after he took office, and after he promised to add 1,000 cops to the beat through re-assignment and recruitment.
The facts are simple, and ridiculous, no matter how they're twisted. On the defense of accusations that McCarthy's team of officers added to the downtown area using racial profiling as a tactic, McCarthy stated, "We will not in any way shape or form allow a member of the Chicago Police Department to engage in racial profiling. The fact is, we engage in behavioral profiling. When people commit criminal acts, we will go after them, we will arrest them, and we will prosecute them. It’s not about the way somebody looks. It’s their behavior."
In the same interview
McCarthy also stated, "What we’re looking for is large groups of youth who may be involved in criminal activity … Five-plus, ten, 15, 20. You can tell when kids are together. And you can tell when they’re in a kindergarten group … or when they’re in a group that could be engaged in behaviors that we don’t like. They’re going to be loud. They’re going to be perhaps taunting people and stuff like that. So, it’s the behaviors. It’s not the individuals. And it’s large groups of kids."
Signs of a gang of robbers, according to Chicago police, include youths in groups of two or three or more, youths texting each other and youths being "loud" or or "taunting". McCarthy also stated that being loud actually is illegal on the terms of "disturbing the peace." Before it was about theft and robbery, but again according to McCarthy, regarding loud behavior, "And that's what this is all about. Don't forget the quality of life stuff we've been talking about."
Some flash mobs are loud, some pedestrians may feel "taunted" by the unexpected mass change in surroundings; but walk the streets off of Michigan Avenue and find out how many people beckon for money, yell, run through crowds, drive their cars on the sidewalk to pass other motorists, a hit-and-run and so on. McCarthy mentioned none of that. The "fragile" treatment of the word "flash mob" warned by Emanuel goes out the window when an alderman of Chicago's City Hall claims it's that "loud" and "taunting" behavior which is "giving our city a bad name." One would believe that the juggernaut sales tax of Chicago and Cook County, along with the constant prodding of money for city services, would make a tourist feel more assaulted than some noisy kids.
So, what do non-politicians and government employees think of flash mobs and cop's using behavioral profiling? "That is ridiculous. All flash mobs I have heard of are peaceful and fun demonstrations which last only a few minutes, then the participates walk away." Says Keasha LeClear, who performed in a Flash Mob in Ann Arbor, Michigan, another largely populated are, and helps arrange the events. She went on to give her opinion of flash mobs, "I think they are brilliant ways of making a statement. We have freedom of speech. A flash mob usually lasts maybe 2-3 minutes (the time for a song or a poem or a statement) then it's over and everyone walks away. But it can be very poignant. Why would the police want or need to break them up? They are nonviolent. That's just crazy."
At the same City Hall convention where an alderman makes a fool of himself, so does the mayor. Rahm wanted the media to report on crime off of Michigan Avenue, but he's apparently not reading the headlines of his own city. Just one week into his first full month as Mayor of Chicago, 12 homicides occurred, including five in one day
, and none of them were in the downtown Michigan Avenue area. Earlier this week two young girls, ages seven and two, were shot in gang cross-fire
. The two-year old suffered a head wound and the seven-year-old a wound to her back. The pair were playing amongst a large group of children outside of the building where their parents were attending a community meeting to discuss alternative policing strategies.
Meanwhile, juvenile shopping arrests were up 10-percent in May, compared to the same time in 2010, according to Kenneth Angarone
, commander of the district containing the Magnificent Mile
. Year-to-date homicides in Chicago at the time, compared to May 2010, were only down a quantity of 2010. It doesn't appear there will be any lowering this year for the month of June.
Angarone explained what happens to the juvenile thieves from Michigan Avenue, which attracted deployment of more officers to the area, "Most of those juveniles were taken to the police station for 'station adjustments'
and released to their parents."
Get acquainted with criticism, Mayor.