CHICAGO - Despite massive traffic jams that shut down the Loop area, city leaders are struggling to put parameters on future Mexican Independence Day celebrations.
"I would hate to have made the decision before any celebrations started to tell certain communities, you can't come downtown," Police Supt. David Brown said.
Brown says the city would like to come up with a better, organized way to celebrate the holiday. But he made it clear that the decision on where or how to celebrate would have to come from the community.
This weekend, police say they arrested 30 people, impounded 23 cars and wrote 345 parking tickets.
The superintendent says police want people to come downtown and celebrate, but they need to organize traffic flows so that emergency issues could be handled and that people who live downtown are able to get somewhere.
He noted that the issue of dictating where people can go to celebrate is a bigger issue.
"This is a welcoming city, particularly, not being tone-deaf to what's happening with the Mexican-immigrant community in this country, I think it's very important to say the words you're welcome in this city, and you're welcome to celebrate anywhere in this city. Now, we'd rather not have the traffic challenges that we had. But for by and large, the celebration with thousands of cars, if not tens of thousands of cars, with very little violence, if any," Brown said.
The traffic jams shut down entire intersections in the Loop area.
Police eventually had to limit the number of cars from getting downtown from the expressways.