Sunday, August 24, 2014

UPTOWN WHORL: Shots Fired, Then Mayhem

Ribbons of blue lights surround Clarendon Park Saturday night. (Image: Michael Holden, via Uptown Update)
UPDATE 9:16PM AUGUST 24: Police have confirmed that a man has been shot moments ago outside of Clarendon Park. CWB will monitor and have a report for you shortly. The victim, a 23-year-old Conservative Vice Lord, is in good condition with a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Our original report follows...

UPDATE 10:10PM AUGUST 24: Video of a (very) small portion of Saturday night's aftermath found its way to YouTube. This video films the exact intersection where Sunday night's victim was shot.


More trouble swept the streets of Uptown late Saturday night and into this morning, tying up substantial portions of the district's police manpower for hours upon hours. Few, if any, arrests were made.

In a park near Clarendon and Sunnyside, an intersection where officers last Monday reported that a Chicago Police camera had been intentionally covered with a black plastic bag, all hell broke loose.

The first sign of trouble came at 10:05PM when an officer who was patrolling Uptown alone reported a “big fight” in Clarendon Park, just north of Montrose.

Less than 30 seconds later, mayhem: “They’re shooting,” announced the solo officer, “I’m outside the park [but] they’re shooting!”

Uptown Update this morning:
Readers report hearing 20-25 gunshots fired at Clarendon Park around 10pm.  Police responded immediately and in force, as seen in the photo above.  The park was cleared.  A helicopter circled, and as late as midnight, there were still investigations going on and a large police presence.
Once the park was cleared, fights, random shootings, and general lawlessness spread into neighborhood streets from Montrose to Wilson. One large cell of trouble repeatedly raised alarms at a “known gang building” in the 4400 block of Clifton where an August 13 uprising put more than a dozen people behind bars.

The tick tock from Uptown last night:

Google map of the area
10:05PM - Officer reports large fight in Clarendon Park.

10:05PM - Same officer, working alone, reports shots fired in the park. A “10-1,” police code for an officer in distress, is announced.

10:09PM - Enough units are on scene to begin an attempt to clear the park.

10:10PM - The man who fired the shots in Clarendon Park is described as black, early 20’s braided hair, wearing all white clothing. The description, including the all white clothing, is nearly identical to the description of a man suspected of having a gun at the August 13 incident.

10:13PM - The Chicago Police Department helicopter, which rarely visits our neighborhood except for the Pride Parade, is on-scene.

10:15PM - Caller says the shooter in all white has changed into a black shirt at Hazel and Sunnyside.

10:18PM - Shots fire calls pour in from Wilson/Racine and the area of Truman College. 7 to 8 shots heard.

10:20PM - Shots fired, possibly from purple minivan, in the 1100 block Wilson

10:22PM - No one is shot on Wilson, but the “intended victim” ran northbound on Magnolia.

10:25PM - Damage from shots fired on Wilson: Jimmy John’s restaurant window busted, motorist’s tire shot out. CPD case HX399943.

10:46PM - Major fight brewing back by Clarendon Park.

11:19PM - Multiple calls from the 4400 block of Clifton. 30,40, up to 50 people having a “loud party” at the same address as the August 13 incident.

11:33PM - Multiple calls of a gang fight in the 800 block of Sunnyside near Clarendon Park. One ticket says over a hundred people are gathered, some armed with bats.

11:34PM - They’re throwing bottles on Sunnyside.

11:35PM - Cars are being towed from Clarendon park “for investigation.” Officers report the park is empty, but the streets are not.

11:36PM - Warning to officers: “Use caution…Calls of bats, crutches, and sticks being used as weapons.”

11:36PM - Officers on Sunnyside say they are looking for two black men who are both armed with handguns. One has dreads and is dressed entirely in black. Last seen eastbound from Hazel.

11:37PM - Officers report a large crowd gathering on by Clarendon Park again.

11:45PM - Officers report that the crowd has re-formed on outside the church on Sunnyside.

11:58PM - “Large group” riled up at Montrose and Racine. Officers are dispersing them.

12:28AM - “50 to 75” people on the street in front of the church at Hazel and Sunnyside. “They’re definitely out there. We can see 'em."

12:30AM - “[The crowd] keeps spreading out and coming right back” to the church.

…and so on. The 19th district officially entered Radio Assignments Pending (RAP) status at 2:24 Sunday morning, meaning no officers were available to handle incoming 911 calls. In reality, calls had been stacking up for over two hours. When told of the RAP, a sergeant sighed, “I’m amazed that didn’t happen a looooong time ago.”

The RAP would continue until 8 o’clock Sunday morning.


  1. Oh great! Our little robberies and burglaries don't stand a chance against this extreme Uptown mayhem. Good luck getting any attention from the limited CPD resources now!

  2. Exactly. I feel bad for our CPD having to deal with this nonsense. I know it's part of the job but clearing out the same park multiple times in one night is ridiculous.

  3. It's only a matter of time before that type of mayhem becomes commonplace in Boystown. Mark my words.

  4. No attention ==> No police report ==> "Crime is down".
    Works for Rahm when he babbles on CNN and to the Gold Coast Limo Liberals

  5. great response. But horrible decision by supervisor. There where 40 officers on scene yet beat 1962 SGT said nobody go in the park. a great message to the bad guys that we are scared to go in when someone has a gun. Rather than arresting the offender.

  6. Terms like "known gang building" or "known gang member." Why on earth is this allowed to continue? Why not create laws that equate gang membership with terrorism? Is there really any difference??

    1. It's called the Chicago Trouble Building Initiative (TBI). Cappleman may get the ball rolling.
      The Troubled Building Initiative was established to compel landlords to maintain safe and drug-free environments for City residents. Primary areas of concern include:

      Neighborhood gang and drug activity Disconnection of utilities that place residents at risk Lack of maintenance or repairs that creates dangerous conditions for residents

      Coordinates the response of City Agencies to address existing conditions that pose a threat to the community and help prevent properties from going into a state of disrepair that leads to non-viability and property abandonment. The City is focusing its efforts to target problem properties and ownership through assessment of fines and economic disincentives. Lenders and mortgage holders are also brought into the process to help address the City's concerns about vacant and abandoned buildings.

      Improve the comfort and safety of residents living in rental properties Enforce City Building Code requirements Separate bad landlords from their properties if they refuse to conform to requirements Discourage bad landlords from scamming system through hidden ownership Speed court process to alleviate the burden of discomfort and inconvenience created by process delays.

  7. Jim 'I'm just a social worker' Cappleman said we don't need more police officers. He is an alderman, so he MUST know what he is talking about.

  8. Why not create laws that equate gang membership with terrorism? Is there really any difference??

    ~ ~ ~
    Absolutely NOT! These thugs seem to think they can roam and cause chaos at will, without obstruction. Great message and strategy, McCarthy. What will it take?

  9. The parks are part of the City and people using them deserve police protection. The parks, all the lakefront parks, need continuous police presence and patrols. If the police were patrolling inside the park, they might be able to monitor crowd developments before they got out of control.... that is IF THE 19TH POLICE DISTRICT WEREN'T DOWN 106 OFFICERS SINCE THE MERGER WAS ANNOUNCED!

    1. I thought all parks closed at 11:00pm. It would be a better idea if they all closed at sun-down.

    2. I suspect it's easier patrolling the border than keeping people out of the parks after dark or 11:00PM.

  10. Can we ask Gov.Nixon to send up his National Guard units he pulled out Ferguson & send them to Uptown since the feckless Gov. Quinn would never think of that& our idiot mayor Rambo would never want to admit his city is nearing " out of control" mode.

  11. This video should be the headline on EVERY channel's newscast, but we know it won't. Rahm should have to stand and watch this video and answer to it. This is disgusting - truly disgusting what's happening to this city. Money and politics are that important that the powers that be are letting their selfishness destroy this city. Where's the outrage in Chicago?

    1. One point that we keep coming back to internally is the fact that the officer on scene when shots rang out was working alone. This whole incident could have very taken a very, very bad turn.

      Too many of our officers hit the streets solo.

    2. The TV stations would love such footage...too bad they are more interested in using its shock value to boost news program ratings. That said, I think people rely too much on thinking that coverage by the news media will result in a safer Wrigleyville Boystown. It certainly hasn't happened as a result of coverage in the inner-city neighborhoods where people are getting gunned down on a regular basis.

      I was biking through the Lakeview area last Friday afternoon. People walking around, sitting in sidewalk cafes...very hip, lively, pleasant atmosphere. Too bad that all changes when the sun goes down...

      What I have learned from reading CWB:

      1. Avoid or beware of the area around the Belmont el (and Uptown), especially late at night. Not only because of the danger, but because of the low probability of police response if I am robbed or attacked.
      2. Avoid carrying around a lot of money, valuables, and talking on my iPhone while walking in this area.
      3. Staying more aware and acting more aware in general when I travel through this area.

  12. I thought once Cappleman became Alderman, Uptown was going to gentrify overnight. You mean to tell us that it's actually getting even worse? Hmmm....