Monday, July 9, 2012

On 4th of July Hyde Park Man Fires Gun over the Drive, says Everyone Was Doing It

-posted by chicago pop

But seriously, no one got hurt, so what's the big deal, right? 

The anything-goes culture of Hyde Park 4th of July celebrations has turned the holiday into a summer version of New Year's Eve with the added benefit of amateurs playing with professional explosives, or drunken professionals playing with guns.

Like this man:

Wesley Jackson of 5400 Hyde Park Boulevard
[Source: Chicago Tribune]

That a trained law enforcement professional could repeatedly fire his handgun in an urban, public park and feel that his behavior was consistent with that of other people in the lakefront parks - that it was normal - suggests that a culture of of recklessness has grown up around the holiday.

The only reason that this local culture has grown up ('everyone is doing it') is because the community has let it happen. Everyone from Alderman Burns and the District 2 police down to local property owners: MAC - with its Del Prado and East Park Towers right on Harold Washington Park - and East View Park, Regents Park, The Powhattan - do the owners and boards of these and other properties want this to happen on their front lawns again next year?

It would not take much to prevent festivities from escalating to the level at which drunks and pyros comfortably indulge themselves with little worry of police intervention.

From Evanston Now:
The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that Chicago police arrested Jackson and he was charged with felony reckless discharge of a firearm after he allegedly fired several rounds across Lake Shore Shore Drive toward Lake Michigan near the University of Chicago campus.

Police who stopped him said Jackson told them he was drunk and "everybody" was firing guns in celebration.
 From the Chicago Tribune:
Chicago police officers responded to the 5400 block of South Shore Drive to assist University of Chicago police with a "man with a gun" call about 10 p.m. Wednesday and university police told them they heard three shots and saw muzzle flashes coming from behind a tree in the park, according to a police report.
They saw Jackson standing, facing Lake Michigan, with a gun in his hand and he placed his hands up and dropped the weapon when they asked him to, according to the report.

Prosecutors said that Jackson fired several rounds across the Lake Shore Drive and toward Lake Michigan.
A witness identified him and during an interview with Chicago police, Jackson said he was: "Just shooting at the lake -- it's the 4th of July and everyone is doing it,'' the report said.

He explained repeatedly that he was intoxicated after drinking five beers and was "f----- up,'' the report said.
Jackson is employed by the Northwestern University Police, and has been placed on administrative leave.

1 comment:

Greg said...

C-Pop, you're such a wet blanket. You and any boaters who may have been out on the Lake to watch the various city-sanctioned fireworks shows should just let people have fun.

I've already begun gathering old wine bottles in preparation for my big performance next year of "X-Treme Molotov Cocktail Independence Day".