Chicago mayor-elect Brandon Johnson: 'Not constructive to demonize youth starved of opportunities'

After three teenagers were shot amidst two rowdy scenes in Chicago over the weekend, Chicago mayor-elect Brandon Johnson said that while the behavior is "unacceptable," it is also "not constructive to demonize young people who have been starved of opportunities."

On Friday night, hundreds of young people went to 31st Street Beach, running around and lighting a fire. They brazenly chased police cars and smashed a window on a squad car. A 14-year-old was shot nearby.

On Saturday night, hundreds of teenagers went to Chicago's Loop. They tried to get into Millennium Park and ran up and down Michigan Avenue. They jumped on cars and a CTA bus. One woman told FOX 32 Chicago that people jumped on her windshield, smashed it, and then attacked her husband as he sat inside the vehicle. 

By the end of Saturday night, two teenagers had been shot. Chicago police said six juveniles and nine adults were arrested.

"In no way do I condone the destructive activity we saw in the Loop and lakefront this weekend," Johnson said in a statement. "It is unacceptable and has no place in our city. However, it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities."

Johnson said there needs to be a comprehensive approach to these sorts of problems.

"Our city must work together to create spaces for youth to gather safely and responsibly, under adult guidance and supervision, to ensure that every part of our city remains welcome for both residents and visitors. This is one aspect of my comprehensive approach to improve public safety and make Chicago livable for everyone."