Chicago, IL – A violent mob attacked Chicago police with bricks, rocks, fireworks, and various other objects as officers worked to shut down multiple instances of illegal drag racing and stunt shows throughout the city over the weekend.
The violent confrontation in Pilsen occurred shortly after 40-year-old Shawman Meireis was fatally struck by an out-of-control Corvette that was racing a second Corvette on Cicero Avenue early Sunday morning, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Meireis, a Florida resident, was visiting Chicago with her boyfriend to celebrate her upcoming 41st birthday.
She was in a crosswalk heading to dinner after attending a music festival when she was hit, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Witnesses said the Corvette drivers had been racing one another and cutting off other traffic just before the horrific crash occurred at approximately 1:40 a.m., the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Police said the fatal collision was just one of multiple “street takeovers” that occurred throughout Chicago over the weekend.
Video footage showed a violent mob attacking Chicago Police Department (CPD) patrol vehicles with rocks, bricks, a road sign, and a large branch in Pilsen at about 3 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Members of the crowd also allegedly shot fireworks at police.
The CPD said six patrol cars were damaged in the attack, which occurred on the 600-block of West Cermak Road, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Chicago: Large group of unemployed antifa/blm youths attacking police this past weekend.
I remember the days when throwing rocks and tree branches at police cars was a felony. pic.twitter.com/9fiIHsTG9C
— Ultra Nuclear Dante 🇺🇸 (@RealDante12) August 29, 2022
Minutes later, a driver who was spinning doughnuts and drifting a white Dodge Challenger in the South Loop sped towards a CPD sergeant, nearly hitting him, prosecutors said.
The sergeant was able to jump out of the way to avoid being struck by the suspect, who has since been identified as 19-year-old Omar Daaboul, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Daaboul was already on probation for a gun conviction when the incident occurred, prosecutors said.
Multiple other incidents occurred in various other areas of the city, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“It almost looks like a movie,” local resident Erin Bowler told the paper. “It’s really disrupting our building.”
A total of nine people were arrested over the weekend in connection with the illegal racing and stunt shows.
Seven vehicles were impounded, and another 22 vehicles were identified for future impoundment, police said.
“We will hold you accountable for this behavior, regardless of when,” CPD Superintendent David Brown said during a press conference on Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune. “We are going to be relentless in identifying you. As long as there are no consequences, this behavior will continue.”
Those found guilty of illegal drifting or drag racing could face a fine of up to $10,000, the CPD tweeted on Saturday.
Illegal drag racing & drifting is dangerous to drivers & spectators. Now it can also be very expensive. Chicago recently passed an ordinance that carries a new amendment, meaning that if you get away, it doesn't mean you got away & your vehicle could be impounded at a later date.
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) August 27, 2022
The CPD said it also plans to use tow trucks, salt trucks, and other large vehicles to help with crowd control during future planned events, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot determined social media was to blame for the scourge of street takeovers and has called on the federal government to crack down on various online platforms.
City leaders said these events are being planned and organized on social media, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“I think the lack of responsibility on the part of social media companies, who absolutely know exactly the kind of things that are being posted, their failure to be proactive in addressing these issues to work proactively with law enforcement is an absolute abomination,” Lightfoot declared on Monday, according to The Daily Wire.
Superintendent Brown said he’d like to see penalties for not only those who participate in the illegal displays, but also those who attend them, the Chicago Tribune reported.
He said that bumping up the fine for impounded vehicles to $20,000 would also be a great deterrent.
“We need to do more of that, more amendments to this ordinance to be able to take their cars,” Superintendent Brown said. “That will discourage their behavior…Let’s keep going ‘til these knuckleheads get the message.”