Berwyn police warn residents of potentially violent youth gathering planned at North Riverside Park Mall

Police said the potential gathering appears to be “much like” the ones in Chicago last weekend that left three teens shot and ended with more than a dozen arrests.

SHARE Berwyn police warn residents of potentially violent youth gathering planned at North Riverside Park Mall
A person was wounded in a shooting Sept. 25, 2020, at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Rd.

Berwyn police say the department has received information that a mass gathering could occur Saturday afternoon at North Riverside Park Mall. That agency and other neighboring agencies are coordinating a “unified response” to avoid violence similar to what happened in downtown Chicago last weekend.

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Berwyn police are warning the public of a possible large gathering this weekend similar to the chaotic mass gatherings last weekend in Chicago that left three teenagers shot and ended with more than a dozen arrests.

The gathering, which “has the potential for public disturbances and acts of violence,” is planned for Saturday afternoon and night at North Riverside Park Mall, the Berwyn Police Department said, according to information it has received.

Berwyn police Chief Michael Cimaglia said in a community alert that the department is preparing for a “unified response” and has already started to implement “preventative measures,” including coordinating with North Riverside police and other neighboring departments.

“We will be working to swiftly disperse participants, and ask you to avoid this area if at all possible,” Cimaglia wrote, suggesting residents should consider the advisory before making plans near the mall.

Elsewhere, a group of faith leaders are organizing a walk Saturday in response to last weekend’s violent street takeovers.

The walk, which Salem Baptist Church Pastor Charlie Dates said is “in support of” and in “accountability and responsibility for” the teens involved, is planned for 6 p.m. at Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue.

The street takeovers last weekend in the Loop and at 31st Street Beach drew national attention, with many videos posted to social media.

Some videos showed teens climbing and jumping on top of a CTA bus, and another showed people kicking passing cars and dancing on top of parked cars.

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A melee in the Loop on Saturday night left two people wounded in a shooting. Police were overwhelmed as youths jumped on cars and buses and set fires. More than a dozen arrests were made. A city councilman cited a breakdown in command and control within the Chicago Police Department for the poor response.

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Around 9 p.m. Saturday, two boys, 16 and 17, were shot in the 100 block of East Washington Street, and a 14-year-old boy was shot Friday night at a gathering near the 3100 block of South DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

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