Arresting Tales

There's a riot goin' on...

Or is it more of a mini-riot, or what? 

Uptown Up in Arms Over "Near Riot-Like Activity"

Whatever it was, it would have been lousy for an innocent civilian stuck driving or walking into the middle of it:

What a riot! from Joe Gray on Vimeo

"Uptown: Chicago's Most Entertaining Neighborhood" indeed.

There's another link in the NBC item to the Uptown Update website.  Several comments on both sites express frustration with lack of action by the police, as well as frustration with 46th Ward alderman Helen Shiller.

Here's something to think about when you look at how aggressively the police respond in that video.  Alderman Shiller's son, Brendan Shiller, is an attorney who spends much of his time suing police officers

Look at the near-total disregard with which the offenders treat the responding cops in that video.  Now ask yourself this question: if you were a cop in those squad cars, confronted with 20-30 angry thugs in the street, knowing that the local alderman's son was an anti-cop lawyer, how quick would you be to jump out and start confronting bad guys?

As my bride read this over my shoulder she said that the alderman and her son shouldn't have any bearing on it--the officers should be acting on behalf of the law-abiding people in that neighborhood.  She's right, but the reality is that in Chicago, the political consideration is never far away. No beat cop who wants a future wants to walk into a political buzzsaw.



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John said:

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Anyone know any detail about this? Looks like it was at the corner of Leland and Sheridan. When did it happen?

irishpirate said:


This particular street festival occurred on Wednesday.

I didn't see this, but I live nearby and have been following the story.

Apparently a larger group of police showed up shortly after this video stops. This location at Sheridan/Leland is all of ten blocks from Wrigley and the Cubs were playing which means a large group of police were available to head north.

I didn't expect the initial cops who showed up to get out of their cars, but once the cavalry arrived they did what they could. On the Second City Cop website,, I made a similar comment to Joe's comments. This could have really been bad for any innocent who wandered into it.

Now if an innocent had been getting beat down then I would have expected the first cops on the scene to exit their cars. With weapons drawn if necessary. Unfortunately, it is my understanding that the CPD generally doesn't have shotguns in police vehicles. A shotgun is the perfect weapon for this type of situation.

If any intrepid Tribune reporters are reading this I suggest they look at my comment on the Second City cop website. There's an interesting story there if they want to do some digging and I provided a link to an earlier post on the UPtown Update website.

roy519 said:

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Hello! Can you not provide links for those extra info you pointed out?

When I watched this, I was shocked by the mayhem occurring in the middle of the street. Sorry but I thought it was the south side. Then I got the bigger shock when the location was identified. I live two blocks away from this
lawlessness. I appreciate NBC for this news. Now I know that Leland & Sheridan is also a hell hole. ABC & all other news channels should over this to pressure all authorities, the Alderman, the Police, & the Mayor to do something about this problem. It's bad enough that there's muggings w/ beatings on the loose. Now, we had rioters who have declared the roads as their war zone.

Joe the Cop said:


"This particular street festival occurred on Wednesday."

Good one. I read your comments on the SCC website, and your point is well taken.

kayla b said:

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what's going on in this city this crap is allover when is it going
to stop.... maybe when the citizens have had enough already

kayla b

notes1977 said:

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thank goodness this was on video.

it seems the only way to get real action in this city is to shame the powers that be by sharing info on the internet for the world to see.

Mr. Brown Thumb said:


Saw this video earlier in the week and all I could really feel was sadness that people behave this way with such little regard for their fellow man.

I don't blame the responding police officers for not getting out of their cars, don't think I could do it in their shoes.

Kirsten said:

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I was walking around Wilson & Broadway about 4:30pm on a Tuesday when I witnessed about 20 - 30 people in an alley across from Truman College getting screaming and yelling at each other. No cops, no camera crews, and it DEFINITELY wasn't on the news. Why isn't anyone covering this and making the public aware??

Kirsten said:

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whoops I need coffee, they were screaming & yelling at each other..... this was back in mid-June by the way.

MDB said:

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I will say this over and over. We need to get the troops out of the Middle East and have them patrolling our streets in America.

Logan McCombs said:


Ok, let's have troops patrolling our streets. That will really help the violence problem. Instead of help our citizens, let's scare them. I agree bring the troops back home, but not to patrol the streets.

ubiestmea said:

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Lived in Uptown for about 7 years...the fault is with the alderman: Schiller...(also known as the 'Queen of welfare pimps'). She purposely fights gentrification. The only way she can win elections is to keep the area poor and down trodden. There is even rumors that she has made deals with gangs in the area so she gets elected...Also remember that she is now in the pocket of 'da mayor' for either of them again and this is what you get.

If you think it is bad now wait till the tenememt on the corner of Montrose and Broadway is completed at taxpayers expense.....there goes the whole neighborhood....

BTW...Ron Huberman (the mayors poodle) lives only a couple of blocks from this....

edward2nd said:


Shiller would say to her people that she is against gentrification, but we all know that it's a lie. She and her office takes plenty of money from developers who "contribute" to her campaign fund. It's all there for the public to see.

MDB said:

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YES! Let's have troops patrolling the BAD areas. The citizens will not be scared they will feel SAFE.

Joe the Cop said:


Thanks for stopping by and commenting, everyone! I appreciate the visitors.

First, on the issue of troops. I understand the frustration that some people have, and why it might seem like a solution to have soldiers in our city. But, having the military do policing is a very bad idea in my opinion. Look how well it works in the third world. Soldiers are for fighting wars, cops are for enforcing laws inside our borders. We don't want to go down the path of commingling military and police functions any more than we already have. What we do need are more cops, and more cops encouraged to go out and aggressively and proactively attack street crime.

I teach defensive tactics and firearms, and I don't think I'd tell any of our officers to hop out of a car and wade into a crowd of 30 or 40 bottle throwing gang members without backup. There's a fine line between projecting authority to *ssholes and being foolhardy, and each officer needs to determine where that line is when he shows up on a call like this.

I believe that Chicago might be getting close to de-policing, a phenomenon in which cops start to function like firefighters--responding only to those situations to which they're dispatched. You don't see firefighters and paramedics driving around looking for fires and injured people, do you? Read some of the comments following this post on Second City Cop and you'll see what I mean.

juanyen said:


Schiller has stalled positive change in that neighborhood for decades now. Schiller's base are drunks, drug addicts and other fine, upstanding members of society.

As you know, I go to nearby Truman College. About a year ago, a fellow student, a Ghanian immigrant, was shot to death near the school when he got in the way when one gang member was shooting at another. This was in broad daylight.

Joe the Cop said:


Ubiestmea, great name! For you and Juanyen, your comments on the alderman reminded me of a quote attributed to Mike Royko:

Shiller’s main motive was that she was building a political power base which included as many winos as she could drag to the voting booth.

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