I was out in Country Club Hills this past Sunday morning. It was 4 in the morning and everywhere I turned, I saw police cars. Because the streets were empty, it was very noticeable that the police were out in full force. I jokingly posted in one of my Facebook groups about how safe I was because there were so many police. That’s when another person responded that CCH was on high alert because of rumors there was going to be a “teen takeover” at the Marcus theaters out there. That “teen takeover” didn’t happen. But their police department was prepared for it just in case.

Well, a “teen takeover” did happen here in Chicago. It was the second time in a week around Roosevelt and Canal where hundreds of teens gathered. They were allegedly the ones who went into the 7-Eleven and tore it up. I watched a 30-minute video of their behavior just on the streets, and it was absolutely embarrassing. Thankfully the police did arrest a few of them. And with that arrest there should be a price to pay. 

This notion that there’s no such thing as personal accountability/responsibility has made the behaviors of a certain segment of young people absolutely atrocious. The police are telling them to go home and instead the kids are laughing and acting like they have no home training. Those arrested and their parents should become poster children for the price that needs to be paid because of bad behavior.

There should be a severe monetary fine for an illegal group-convergence event. Just like we have a law that allows cars to be impounded when individuals are involved in “street takeovers,” where the cars are “drifting” and doing other dangerous stunts, cellphones should be confiscated during teen takeovers and held until the court date. 

They do it with driver’s licenses, why not do it with any electronic device the person is carrying that has access to the internet? It’s because of access to the internet that they learn where to congregate. We’ve seen numerous videos where teachers have confiscated cellphones and the young people have gone crazy. So imagine losing access to their phone for however long it takes for their case to go before the judge! 

Perhaps that is the wake-up moment both the kids and the parents need to realize the seriousness of what is going on.

If teenagers do one thing well, it’s networking. And if they learn that one of their friends has lost their cellphone for three weeks or longer, maybe that’s the sobering message that will bring some of them to their senses. 

This city cannot and should not tolerate more of these takeover events. There needs to be a way to find out who posted the original call for the takeover and have them held accountable as well.   

We need to stop twiddling our fingers and begin constructive counter-actions.