Language on teen gatherings divides Chicago leaders
Last week Mayor Brandon Johnson got into a tangle with journalists and later the police union's leader over what to call a recent South Loop gathering that resulted in the arrests of 40 youths on charges of trespassing, bodily harm and unlawful weapon use.
What happened: Johnson cut off a reporter who called it "a mob action," warning that it's "inappropriate" to characterize the youths as "baby Al Capones."
- The mayor called it a teen "trend."
Reality check: Both "mob action" and "teen trend" are accurate descriptors for the event.
- But these terms don't only have local officials in a tiff, they're also causing confusion among residents. So let's brush up on those definitions.
Trend: A term young Chicagoans use on social media to advertise mass meetups in public places that have in several recent instances resulted in property destruction and violence by some participants.
Mob action: An Illinois legal term used to describe when "one or more persons … without authority of law knowingly, intentionally or recklessly disturb the public peace by the use of force or violence."
Between the lines: "Teen takeovers" has emerged as a more neutral way for some media to describe these events. But John Catanzara of the Fraternal Order of Police is not a fan.
What they're saying: "The teen takeover on Roosevelt Road was not a teen takeover," Catanzara told the Sun Times. "It was looting. It was mob action."
More Chicago stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Chicago.