Police Line
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON

Two people were shot in the chaos that followed after hundreds of teenagers took over the streets of Chicago on Saturday night.

According to local media reports, the "takeover" was planned on social media, following which hundreds of teenagers tried to get access to the city's Millennium Park. The park does not allow entry to individuals under 21 after certain hours.

After the teens failed to enter the park, they began to smash cars and attack people. Hundreds of police officers had to be deployed to bring the situation under control. After gunfire was reported multiple times, tourists in the area had to be escorted back to their cars and hotels.

Two people were shot, including a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy. According to a report by Fox News, they are being treated at Northwestern Hospital and are in "fair condition."

Several videos from the scene also went viral on social media. The teenagers could be seen jumping up and down on cars and hitting people. However, none of their faces are clearly visible in the videos.

In some of the videos, they could be seen destroying public property, blocking traffic, and assaulting bystanders. A similar incident was reported in Chicago last year.

Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson has issued a statement condemning the incident, adding that the incident should not be used to "demonise youth."

"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. However, it is not constructive to demonise youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities," he said.

"Our city must work together to create spaces for youth to gather safely and responsibly, under adult guidance and supervision, to ensure that every part of our city remains welcome for both residents and visitors," added Johnson.

Meanwhile, the police have started an investigation into the incident and have arrested nine adults and six juveniles in connection with the case.

A 16-year-old male has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon, while two others have been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. The others were arrested for reckless conduct. The incident has attracted widespread criticism, with social media users condemning the police, the parents, and the authorities.

"No fear of repercussions due to the new progressive mayor," commented a user. While another suggested that the police should arrest the kids as well as their parents. "Arresting teens and parents of teens would be a good start!," wrote a Twitter user.

"What Andrew Tate spoke about this country is totality true. A complete failed society," said another.

Current Mayor Lori Lightfoot also addressed the incident and asked parents to instil some values in their kids.

"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," Lightfoot said in a statement. "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."

The crime rate in Chicago has increased in the last five years by as much as 20 per cent, according to an official report by the Chicago Police Department. The overall crime rate in Chicago increased by 41% after seeing a slight decline in 2019.

The report added that car theft is up 114% since 2018, while motor vehicle theft increased by 102% and theft by 56%.

However, the city recorded a decline in murder cases in 2022. Criminal sexual assault and aggravated battery also saw a decline in the past year. Despite these statistics, crime remains a significant issue for the locals.