Occupy Chicago Arrests
- Chicago Police arrested about 175 Occupy Chicago protesters who refused to leave Grant Park early Sunday following a march from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to the Downtown park.
More than 2,000 people marched and set up two-dozen tents in Grant Park near East Congress Parkway and South Michigan Avenue with the goal of staying the night to draw attention to corporate abuse and express solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Police said about 175 protesters were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor violation of city ordinance for not leaving the park after it closed at 11 p.m. Police said the protesters were told to leave numerous times before making the arrests.
But it wasn't timely. The park closed at 11:00 PM, and the first arrests took place after 1:00 AM. Why the delay?
It would seem that the Department didn't have the manpower to make a mass arrest situation. There were three separate citywide call outs for cars. The first was for the tactical teams, already on standby. Then there was a second call for additional cars, and then there was a wait for midnight cars. No one was held over from third watch except for the 001 District. Other than that, districts citywide were stripped of regular beat coverage for a downtown protest. We bet certain bosses are wishing they had a "strike" force of some 200 bodies they could mobilize at a moment's notice and send downtown for incidents such as this.
Now the question becomes, what did the Department learn? This was a peaceful event, but with nearly 200 arrests. What happens when the anarchists arrive for the G-8 or NATO meetings? Has anyone been watching the highlights from Italy? Rioters hiding among the peaceful protestors waiting for their opportunity. We can't afford a two hour wait for cars to be mobilized, mass arrest kits to be scrounged up, transport vehicles to be on site (A CTA bus for prisoners? That's real secure).
Hopefully, someone important is paying attention. And putting some other people on notice about shortfalls in the response.
Labels: department issues