After using social media to plan their attack, the wild mob converged Sunday night at a 7-Eleven store, and remained there for hours, even after police officers arrived and pleaded for the crowd to disperse. After the teenagers ignored the warnings, police eventually arrested 40 people who ranged in age from 12 to 20, according to a report by CBS News Chicago.
At a press conference afterward, Mayor Brandon Johnson was visibly unhappy when a reporter asked about the “mob” that descended on the convenience store. Pushing back on the question, he bizarrely compared the unruly crowd to Chicago’s famous mafia turf wars.
“There’s history in this city,” the mayor told reporters. “I mean, to refer to children as baby Al Capones is not appropriate.”
Al Capone, the notorious gangster, famously ruled Chicago and its underworld during the 1930s.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, “the Mob” refers to an organized group of criminals, such as Capone’s criminal empire. The word “mob” means a “large and disorderly crowd of people,” such as the teens arrested Sunday night who stole merchandise, fought each other, and smashed the windows of the convenience store.
Reacting to Mayor Johnson’s lecture, Chicago-area church pastor Calvin Lindstrom tells AFN the lecture about using mean words is not doing teenagers any favors.
“A house is on fire and you're not bringing water,” Lindstrom says of Mayor Johnson, “but you're bringing more lighter fluid to the scene, as it were.”
In a run-off election in April, Chicago voters narrowly chose Johnson over fellow Democrat Paul Vallas in a stunning endorsement of the defund-the-police candidate in a city overrun with crime. Voters had already tossed their current mayor, Lori Lightfoot, weeks earlier.
Johnson was endorsed by the teachers’ union, which enjoys political power in the city’s failing public schools, over the police union-endorsed Vallas.
Back in the press conference, Johnson’s defense of the mob – the unruly teens, not an Italian crime family – was obvious. Sounding like a soft-hearted parent, he referred to the mob as a “large gathering” and he urged reporters to “speak of these dynamics in an appropriate way.”
According to the CBS News Chicago story, a police department official said officers on the scene gave the teenagers plenty of warnings before officers moved in and started making arrests. The verbal warnings and pleas to leave had worked in a previous encounter with a previous mob of young people.
“This time, they refused. They began fighting against each other," Fred Waller, a police superintendent, said. "We haven't arrested people like that but this group got so out of hand we had no choice."