By Tim Hadac
Southwest Chicago Post
(Update: Please read Ford City's statement at the end of this opinion piece.)
Ford City Mall, you owe us all an explanation.
The people of the Southwest Side (as well as nearby suburbs) want to know what exactly happened at your shopping center on Saturday, February 23, and why.
Police and others in authority are describing scenes of fights, looting and more---both in the mall and spilling onto adjacent areas.
(Videos below were shot by individuals who were on the scene and who chose to post them to YouTube.)
Now---right now---is the time for full disclosure.
A few questions:
~~ What was the purpose of inviting Mindless Behavior to the mall?
Surely, you had to know that Mindless Behavior would attract a large and potentially rowdy crowd. Mindless Behavior pushed their appearance in advance to their 821,645 Twitter followers---many of whom, in turn, notified thousands of others.
And Mindless Behavior promoted their appearance via YouTube and other avenues:
~~ How many mall security officers were on duty when the situation got out of hand?
~~ Did you have extra mall security on hand that day? If so, how many?
~~ Did you alert Chicago Police in advance? How about the Burbank, Bedford Park, Hometown and Oak Lawn PDs? If yes, how far in advance? If no, why not?
~~ In light of what occurred, do you plan to apologize to Ford City customers, Ford City business tenants, the people who were injured (including a CTA bus driver who was taken to a hospital) and the tens of thousands of men, women and children living in the immediate area? If so, when do you plan to make that apology? If not, why not?
Ford City, we at the Southwest Chicago Post are consistently pro-business and supportive of your efforts to attract customers---as we are of all retailers in the area. But clearly, something went very wrong today.
Ford City Mall, you owe us all an explanation.
# # #
Update: At about 9:00 p.m. tonight, Ford City posted this on its Facebook page:
"Thank you to all the Mindless Behavior fans who attended today's meet & greet. Totally unrelated to today's event, a group of unruly teens entered the mall and caused a disturbance. On the recommendation of the Chicago Police Department the mall was closed for the safety of the shoppers and tenants. The mall will re-open at 11 a.m. tomorrow."
We ran Ford City's statement by Chicago Police for an official response. A CPD spokesman replied:
"A large number of teens at a rap group promotion at Ford City Mall caused a disturbance. Mall closed for safety reasons. Three people sustained minor injuries and were transported to area hospitals. Approximately 20 arrests. NFI." (no further information)
# # #
I live and work 5 minutes from Ford City and won't go anywhere near the place because of the clientele that shops there. Have to go to Orland or Oakbrook to avoid the gangbangers.ReplyDelete
That mall has always been ghetto. I stopped going years ago.ReplyDelete
That mall was not always ghetto. I used to go there as a little kid and a teenager in the 80's and it was a beautiful mall with no trouble. It didn't start turning ghetto until about the mid 90's and I think we all know why.Delete
I concur. My mom used to take me when I was a little kid back in the '80's and it was nice. Crying shame, I haven't set foot in there in years and will continue to go to Oak Brook, too... Southlake is still ok, but it's getting a bit rough over there, too. :-/Delete
Ditto on that! His/herstory doesn't start with your 'reflection', Anonymous...12:32 AM.Delete
There were a couple of generations before you came along who had a decent place to shop at one time. The mall didn't 'turn ghetto'-- people did, and they started bringing down the place. Time to boycott Ford City unless they 'clean up their act' (and don't invite such trash-- like this act, or their fans.... 'Mindless Behavior'...the name says it all (and who says media doesn't influence young minds)?
Watched the local "news" broadcasts at 9pm. Not a single mention of the Ford City melee'. Also had 780AM on in the car before I got home which is a supposed "news" station, nothing on the radio either.ReplyDelete
What's up with that? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MEDIA ???
I am not sure what news you were watching, but I did see video of it on the 9:00 pm news channel 9. It was a big story. It got about four minutes of play time.Delete
wgn does show faces of black criminals.. anything negative about crimes that black commit .. what awaste is abc 7 chicago tv also..Delete
why would you bring this to our shopping mall. do you think in these times it would not get OUT OF HAND....not thinking very well on your part..hope you can FIX THIS ONE...No more shopping there any more ,,can't be TRUSTED AS a SAFE MALL..ReplyDelete
You bet! The bus-driver, the child who was injured's family/friends, the driver in the car who's back window was smashed (on one of your videos), the Ford City shoppers and Best Buy customers and other innocent bystanders who witnessed this rioting-- you can bet that they will not (or be very reluctant to) return to Ford City (how ironic, that their attempts to attract shoppers has done just the opposite).Delete
This is why I support Concealed Carry. And yes in this you may need an AR-15.ReplyDelete
I live just south of the mall and am the parent of two teenage girls. That being said inviting a group to a mall is common my children have gone to the "white" mall orland to see cody simpson. So to blame the mall for the activities is crazy. Yes they should have boosted up security but to say they shouldnt be there is nuts. This was something caused by a group of bad kids that more then likely started with a handful and others just followed. The whole mob mentality. Watch the videos the magority of the people werent damaging things. Afterall you cant be damaging property and recording it. If it was that serious dont you think they would have arrested more instead of putting them on a bus.ReplyDelete
You lost any creditably when you typed, gone to the "white" mall....Delete
ok given your premise where is violence more likely to happen at a "white" mall or a "black" mall?Delete
It is ludicrous in this day and age to disassociate the impact-- that such 'gang-culture entertainment' as acts with such names as Mindless Behavior--can have on young minds.Delete
Would you have allowed your daughters to go see such an act? If so, then, that is the problem right there. The fact that the likelihood of such an act attracting 'a group of bad kids' should be an immediate red flag (security bulked up or no security-- you as parents, are your children's first line of security. Or, you should be)!
This lackadaisicall parental attitude certainly helps create such 'bad kids'. And that a few have demonstrated that only a few can set off the 'mob mentality' you refer to, is yet another reason to for a huge entity like a public shopping mall to avoid such 'entertainment' (oh, they certainly entertained us)! Such a public facility as Ford City has a responsibility-- not just to teenagers. They have a responsibility to the safety of ALL shoppers and visitors to their mall.
Who cares if it was 200 or just a handful. They put a man in the hospital, the injured others, including a child. And they damaged property like cars. Not to speak of terrifying people.
It's 'nuts' not to consider all this....
Another argument for concealed carry.ReplyDelete
I was waiting for one of you radical militants to speak up. Your going to take shots at the looters throwing video games in the air. How about just tackle the brat?Delete
No, but if I were trapped in my car stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to escape the lot with my wife and child when those in the "melee" jumped on the hood, smashed in the window, etc. (as they did to so many other people's cars at the mall), I'd have drawn my sidearm for the protection of the life of my family - which yes, a brick thrown through the window of my car with my 6 year old in her booster seat could very easily kill her.Delete
Fortunately I'm a police officer so I'm afforded this 2nd Amendment right that the rest of non-LEO Illinois is denied, in clear violation of not only their Constitutional rights but also in contrast to what 49 OTHER STATES ALLOW AND HAVE UPHELD AS CONSTITUTIONAL. Also, I carry an extra magazine (with more than 10 rounds - I know, I must be a real gun-nut psychopath chock full of insecurities, right? - SARCASM) even when I'm off duty, so if I witnessed any other fellow citizens' lives in danger, I'd have the right and the ability to put three rounds of hollow point .40 Smith & Wesson in whoever is throwing a brick through their car window too. Car-jackings occur with LESS than a brick as a weapon, you Constitution hater.
And yes, I would offer this courtesy even to an anti-gun liberal who thinks that those carrying a sidearm for self-defense would be engaged in "looter shooter gallery". It's not about stopping those stealing property, it's about stopping those who are endangering lives. And yours is worth no less than anyone else's - even if I disagree with your tunnel-visioned, one dimensional anti-gun rhetoric and simple minded worst-case scenario propaganda.
A "radical militant" who values the lives of his family and the right to defend them, and wants every citizen to have the same capability like 49 other states do.
Ford shity...i stoped going there years ago place is a zooReplyDelete
What must happen is that the management of Ford City Mall, Jones Lang Lasalle, be held liable for all costs associated with this event. As a taxpaying citizen of Chicago I want this company to pay the full costs of all city services required to respond to the riot; time-and-a-half, if not double time, rates are to be charged for the services of all first responders – Police and Fire. (There is no reason my tax dollars should subsidize a private firm that commits such willfully negligent acts.) In addition, all adjacent businesses, as well as innocent motorists and shoppers, affected should be compensated in full for all damages. Maybe after paying out thousands of dollars Jones Lang Lasalle will give greater consideration to responsibly managing its properties.ReplyDelete
Ford City used to be a great place to shop - wouldn't go there for anything now!!!ReplyDelete
And businesses wonder why customers disappear. It's the same reason most people won't use public transit.ReplyDelete
Just watched the videos...I remember as a child I use to go shopping with my parents at Ford City, but it has been years since i last stepped foot in there. That mall has gone completely ghetto and makes the neighborhood in the vicinity look bad as well.ReplyDelete
Pathetic way for young people to behave. All the kids doing this are a direct reflection of the bad parenting they have received. No other explanation can be attributed to this mob action. Those same parents would be the first to say, "Oh no not my child". Yes it is your child and You should be held accountable for their actions. Take all this video and prosecute them to the fullest and make the parents foot the bill. This might make them have some concern as to what their little darlings are doing when they are out of sight. Granted all the injuries were minor and no weapons were used. if the conceal carry laws were in effect the limiting factors our politicians are about to enact in Washington D.C. would make it impossible to protect one self with the numbers of offenders wrecking havoc. No small magazine would be able to keep you safe. If you see the disregard to the first responders these kids have and the fact that they could not handle the amount of offenders there tells me we need a sensible conceal and carry law. We are 2000 police officers short in Chicago. Who will protect us with the average response time 40 mins.- 1 hour? Criminals are not buying guns at a store, registering them, and getting FOID cards. Lets be real if this was coming to your front door how would you be able to defend your domicile? Time for stiffer penalties for juvenile offenders and lock them up for the behavior that a wild animal usually exhibits. Face recognition software is available. Lets use it and remove these punk wanna be gangsters off the streets with maximum sentences. If they do adult acts of violence send them to an adult facility for an extended stay.ReplyDelete
Yes, there is another explanation. It's just who they are.Delete
Send them to prison? Why should honest, hard-working citizens pay taxes to keep these antisocial beasts alive, watching TV, lifting weights, and continuing their criminal enterprises behind bars? What's the point? Should I start reciting recidivism rates in this country?Delete
Liquidate them. Start with the gangs. Automatic Death Sentence for any gang-related felony. "Blood in, blood out?" Fine--here's your blood out, asshole, courtesy of the (fed-up) American public.
totally agree ^^Delete
It is behavior such as this which CONTINUES TO PERPETUATE THE STEREOTYPES. Dr. Martin Luther King must be spinning in his grave right now. He would look to the people of today, and cry. THIS is the fruit of his hard-fought efforts?!? The community from which these punk thugs came should be embarrassed and ashamed. There is absolutely NOTHING of which to be proud ... And then people feel they're being discriminated against? People cry racism? Go figure. I have seen wild animals behave in better fashion.ReplyDelete
The moron with the chair, smashing the car rear window, about 28 seconds into the video...BLOW up that photo & post it on the front page of the Chicago Trib.ReplyDelete
Can you imagine how scared and angry you'd be if this happened to you? You and your family and property are all of a sudden under a direct and un-provoked physical violent attack by some idiots whose intent you don't have time to guess before he gets a bead on you sideways. Get the bead on the person attacking your family ASAP, or else..Delete
The videos were crazy. Lots of property damage and the taxpayers will pick up the tab, as per usual.
And you wonder why there are stereotypes here! Maybe you should start looking at your own communities. It's always everyone else's fault.ReplyDelete
What did the BEST BUY RIOT 2-23-13 video show? It has been removed by the user? Was it footage from inside?ReplyDelete
The "Best Buy Riot" video was, we are told, shot by an employee working at the Best Buy in Burbank, directly across the street from Ford City. We don't know for a fact if that's who actually shot it, but it obviously was shot by someone who was there and who witnessed the incident. If it was shot by an employee, it's our guess that Best Buy ordered the employee to remove it from YouTube. In any event, the video showed at least a couple dozen teenage thugs running through the store, hollering, knocking over merchandise displays, grabbing merchandise and then bolting out the store and back east toward Ford City, while Best Buy employees and customers looked on in shock and disbelief and fear while they surveyed the damage. It was clearly a mob action of looting, criminal damage to property and intimidation of innocent people.Delete
The mall is a private entity who is no more responsible for providing reasonable "extra security" than any other mall - where I would argue, by way of history, "melees" like this don't happen. Ford City exists to turn a profit - not to babysit 200 children whose parents are complete failures. The mall is not obliged to raise children to behave properly - their parents are.ReplyDelete
The mall has insurance - the damages will be paid for. The "tough questions" asked by this online publication should be re-written and re-directed to the parents of these children. Ford City could in no way prevent an event of this magnitude, whether they suspected such a "melee" might happen by stalking Facebook (they have security guards, not law enforcement) or not. It is ridiculous to blame the mall. Would Blame the 200 + filth who acted this way and their parents who (didn't) raise them to act this way.
Ummm, what is the big deal? Based on the video it looked like dumb teenagers doing dumb teenager stuff.ReplyDelete
Seriously....what is the big deal, do you not see how these idiots are acting. there could have been innocent children, in the store or in these cars these stupid punks were terrorizing.Delete
you clearly must be one of the idiots in the mob.
Seriously, if you punks have nothing better to do you, go scratch each others ass terrorize your own family.
Dumb teenagers doing dumb teenage stuff? This was just a hair away from being a full riot. It's just a shame. Guess what? Once they burn down that mall they will just keep going until the city looks like a war zone. So blame the mayor, the chief of police, the "white people", but don't blame the derilects or their parents. It's not their fault. It's society's fault. Well, that excuse is just about up. Start taking responsibility for your communities and stop pointing the finger at everyone else.ReplyDelete
This is a shining example as to why the Orange line should not be extended to Ford City. Anyone and everyone needs to contact Dan Lipinski's office and let him know that no funding should ever be sought for this. (This idea has been floated in the past - it was bad then and it's worse now.)ReplyDelete