Chicago Mayor claims it's 'not appropriate' to call 'large gatherings' of teens 'mobs'

"No, that's not appropriate, we are not talking about mob actions."


On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson took issue with the language being used to report on a teen takeover of Chicago South Loop where a 7-Eleven store was looted, saying that it is "not appropriate" to refer to these groups as "mobs," because it's not right to refer to them as "baby Al Capone's." 

During the statement, he began by praising law enforcement for preventing the gatherings from happening, but referred to the groups as "trends." He said, "The number of trends that we have intercepted over the course of these first...12 weeks, it's been tremendous." 

One reporter asked what he was referring to when he said "trends," to which he responded, "Oh, you are not aware of some of these large gatherings?" This prompted another reporter to ask, "You're talking about the mobs?" 

Johnson said, "No, that's not appropriate, we are not talking about mob actions, I didn't say that." He continued, "It's important that we speak on these dynamics in an appropriate way, this is not to obfuscate what is actually taking place, but we have to be very careful when we use language to describe certain behavior." 

"There is history in this city," he added. "I mean to refer to children as, like, baby Al Capone's is not appropriate." 

To finish his initial point Johnson said, "There have been other attempts to have large gatherings and we have intercepted those attempts." 

According to CBS Chicago, 40 people between the ages of 12 to 20 years old were arrested Sunday night, after the large mob of mostly teens gathered near Roosevelt Road and Canal Street. 

The surveillance video showed the group storming a 7-Eleven store in the area, looting and vandalizing it, and even setting off one of the fire extinguishers in the parking lot. 

In April, large mobs of teens took over the South Loop multiple nights, robbing and assaulting citizens and destroying businesses. At least two teens were shot during the riots. 

Johnson also downplayed these events by calling them "teen takeovers." He said at the time, “Demonizing children is wrong." He added, “They’re young, sometimes they make silly decisions, they do, and so we have to make sure that we are investing to make sure that young people know that they are supported.”

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