Illinois state senator defends Chicago teens' rioting, looting: 'It's a mass protest'

An Illinois state senator defended the Chicago "Teen Takeover" that unfolded Saturday night and left multiple boys shot, claiming it was simply "a mass protest against poverty and segregation."

Robert Peters, who represents parts of Chicago, responded to the chaotic scene that saw hundreds of local youth smashing car windows, jumping on surrounding vehicles, and firing guns in the streets.

Rather than condemn the chaos that left tourists running in fear, Peters suggested it was a "mass protest."


"Since I’m a glutton for punishment and I’m sure I’m gonna get the most unhinged, crime weirdo replies but: I would look at the behavior of young people as a political act and statement," Peters wrote in a Twitter post Sunday. "It’s a mass protest against poverty and segregation. Rest in peace to my mentions."

Hundreds of police officers were called to the scene, arresting nine adults and six juveniles in connection to the riot.

According to Fox 32, a man was taken to the hospital after being beaten by a group of teenagers after they jumped on and smashed his windshield while he and his wife sat inside.

Local news reported a 6-year-old boy being shot in the arm, and two teenage boys, ages 16 and 17, were also shot in the crowd, according Fox 32 Chicago.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, the progressive who will succeed Lori Lightfoot, claimed that while he condemns the riot, "it is not constructive to demonize youth."

"In no way do I condone the destructive activity we saw in the Loop and lakefront this weekend. 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 in a statement after the incident.

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