Chicago's teenage, mob-action season kicked off on Memorial Day weekend, again this year, again at North Avenue Beach, just as it did last year. And now we're being treated to the follow-up Red Line and downtown, summer terrorism, just as we were last year.
This past weekend's downtown terror was worse than the news is reporting. The little monsters converged in groups as large as 50 kids, roaming the Streeterville area and deliberately menacing people. One of the physicians who was attacked explained:
"I saw the mob of them ... young teenagers, tweeners between 13 and 15 years old, like young kids you'd see at the mall," the doctor said. "The thing I remember clearly was that they were enjoying frightening people. They went after a food delivery man on a bike. Then they went after me. It was like 'Lord of the Flies.' [...]
There were similar attacks in Streeterville last year. News organizations at first called them "flash mobs," but that made the police angry. These young people didn't mob up to dance. They mobbed up to hit people. [...] They beat them for fun.
Last year, teen mobs also swarmed and looted stores while helpless staff, managers and owners could only stand by and watch. I haven't heard about that happening this year, but give them a little time. It isn't even July 4th yet.
None of these groups are visiting the downtown area for benign reasons. The mayor and the police chief say the police are going to put a stop to it, but they also try to downplay how bad it is because they don't want people to be scared to go downtown on the weekends.
Meantime, on weekend nights, the South and West Sides of the city have become shooting galleries, with 20, 30, 40+ shootings a weekend, every single weekend.
[But] Streeterville is no war zone. The war zone is far to the south and the west, neighborhoods where gang violence spreads terror every weekend, as if Chicago were Afghanistan. In the Chicago war zones, people get shot on their porches or run over by getaway cars. And that old man choked by thugs in that police video released the other day, the old man on the ground, the thugs removing his shoes to find his money.
While violent crime continues to decline in the rest of the country, beatings and shootings are becoming increasingly popular sport here.
Nothing about my opinion on how to deal with these kids has changed since I wrote about this last year.