CHICAGO (CBS) — Large gatherings have been causing chaos on the city’s South and West Sides, with one recently even involving women dancing on top of police squad cars.
It is a problem with which people living and working in those communities are fed up. And as CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reported Tuesday night, residents are calling for Chicago Police to put an end to it.
Imagine trying to drive home and being met with a large group of people – along with women twerking on a police squad car. That is exactly what happened to Mindy Baizar.
“I went around the crowd and I went home,” she said.
Baizar has called the Near West neighborhood home for the past three years. She said she seen such sights at Oakley and Washington boulevards a couple of times – most recently this past Saturday.
Le Mignot: “What do you think about that when you see such large gatherings?”
Baizar: “I just hope everybody would be safe out here, and I just go home.”
Christopher McDaniel works in Near West.
“What I would like is to see more events planned for that demographic – students or children – so that they have something more constructive to do with their time,” McDaniel said.
Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) said large crowds like these used to be a problem at Touhy-Herbert Park, just a few blocks away at Adams Street and Hoyne Avenue.
“We had to put no parking signs up for people who are non-residents in the community,” Burnett said. “The police go over there to make sure folks don’t party over there.”
But then, they moved the festivities over to Ellen Gates Starr Park at Oakley and Washington.
“They come from everywhere,” Burnett said. “They decided to have these pop-up parties in the summertime where they just go in and then put it on Facebook, and everybody go!”
The South Side is seeing social media-generated pop-up parties too. A picture was sent to Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) by a constituent, showing a large gathering here at 75th Street and Prairie Avenue, at 2 a.m. past Saturday.
“Understand people live right there. You know, don’t park in front of their house and turn your music up, start drinking and littering in front of their houses,” Sawyer said. “That’s not how we operate in Park Manor.”
Aldermen Sawyer and Burnett said they have met with the police commanders in their wards. Sawyer said there will be increased patrols, safety checks, and tow trucks, and Chicago Police said illegally parked cars may be towed.