April 7th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Violent teen ‘flash mobs’ confound cities

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @nova_safo

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(CNN) - The city of Chicago is grappling with how to respond to a strange event on a recent weekend afternoon, when hundreds of teens suddenly took over part of the city's downtown. There were fights among the teens, a reported assault on a passerby, and other disturbances. The local media dubbed it a violent teen "flash mob."

The incident alarmed residents, and some city officials, including Alderman Brendan Reilly who represents the area where the violence occurred. Reilly quickly called for a more visible police presence, and for businesses to be able to hire off-duty police officers as private security. The alderman believes the stakes are high for Chicago:

[2:52] “We’re out there aggressively recruiting new conventions to come here to town, we’re reaching out to visitors around the world, marketing this beautiful, great, safe city. But that’s harder to do, when you have negative headlines suggesting that it may not be safe to be in the central core.” FULL POST

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