Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson Issues Statement on Weekend Violence

This weekend, the violence and lawlessness that transpired across portions of Chicago’s downtown and lakefront areas prompted Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, who hasn’t assumed office yet, to issue an official statement. 

“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,” Johnson wrote in a statement on his social media pages. “However, it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.”

The destructive activity he was referring to included the reported shootings of two teenagers near Millennium Park in downtown Chicago Saturday night and the arrests of 15 people, including nine adults and six juveniles, most for reckless and disruptive behavior by Chicago Police. 

Further south on a Friday night, amid a large gathering of teens on 31st Street Beach, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the leg.

Multiple videos and reports circulated on social media depicting the weekend mayhem, from youths fighting and jumping on cars to throwing objects at police and running for cover after random gunshots rang out. The incidents occurred on a weekend that featured summer-like temperatures. 


Though Johnson won’t be sworn in as Chicago’s Mayor until May 15, that didn’t stop social media trolls, publications and a notable Chicago journalist from “tagging” the Mayor-elect in social media posts about this weekend’s incidents. Some posts took the opportunity to conflate Johnson’s reform approach to public safety with the weekend events.

Tweet by FOX News 32 Chicago reporter Anita Padilla



As expected, current mayor issued her statement on the weekend mayhem. Here it is in full:

Statement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot

“Twice in the last few days, several large groups of young people have gathered across the city. Many of them were there to have a good time and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. However, some of those young people were involved in reckless, disrespectful and unlawful behavior. 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. Most importantly, parents and guardians must know where their children are and be responsible for their actions. Instilling the important values of respect for people and property must begin at home. 

I appreciate the individuals and business people who have reached out to me to express concerns. I have shared those concerns with the acting Superintendent and senior leadership within the Police Department in very candid and productive conversations. 

CPD leadership has assured me that they will make the necessary adjustments to address these teen trends issues as we move into the summer months. 

We have invested millions of dollars to support community-based organizations to partner with youth to co-activate fun, safe spaces all over the City throughout the year. We ask parents to partner with us by making sure that your children’s plans are safe and that they know when to exit a situation before it becomes unsafe.”

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