Durbin calls downtown Chicago violence 'disgusting, awful, terrible,' especially after DNC secured

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff and Christine Tressel WLS logo
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Durbin responds to downtown violence
Sen. Durbin called this past weekend's downtown violence "disgusting, awful, terrible," especially after securing the DNC Chicago 2024.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois' senior Sen. Dick Durbin has a blistering assessment of last weekend's disorder in the downtown.

The usually measured Durbin told the I-Team that Saturday's Chicago violence was "disgusting, awful, terrible," and the timing is also a gut punch to Durbin and others who had just sold the Democratic National Committee on Chicago as host-city for next summer's national convention.

When the violent scenes began popping on phones and TVs worldwide last weekend, the timing couldn't have been worse.

"Those of us who have been fighting to bring the Democratic National Convention to Chicago did so with the promise that those again would have a positive and good experience in the process," said Durbin, D-Illinois.

It would be difficult to spot the positive and good in what happened in Chicago's Loop. Swarms of young people quickly overtook cops and the streets.

ABC7 Political Analyst Laura Washington talks about the response to the chaos downtown last weekend.

Some were battering passersby, while others on Michigan Avenue climbed on passing cars.

RELATED: Couple attacked in weekend chaos claim police did not aid them; CPD launches internal investigation

"The videos I saw, that activity on the streets downtown, are just disgusting, awful, terrible. Violence is never acceptable. Those circumstances and the destruction of property is not a constitutional right or freedom of expression -- unacceptable," he said.

Fifty five years later, Chicago is still living down scenes from the 1968 Democratic convention, where clashes erupted between anti-war protesters and CPD officers.

But with the city's damage control machine switched on, serene sights of next summer's DNC venues at the United Center and at McCormick Place are the ones that party leaders and Illinois' top Democrats are hoping to burn into the public brain.

"We've got to keep our word, and that means doing a much better job and bring peace to the streets in that city," Durbin said.

The DNC convention in Chicago is set for Aug. 19-22 of next summer.

Before last weekend's mayhem, Gov. JB Pritzker touted Chicago's "impeccable hospitality, and world-renowned venues." After the latest street skirmishes, some of those attributes may need some work.