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Just How Violent Was The Fourth?

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jul 6, 2009 5:40PM

After an exceptionally violent weekend, some people are wondering if violence may have been worse than the city wants us to think. The anonymous police watchdog blog, Second City Cop, compiled their stories from the field at Taste and noted that the fireworks may have started half an hour early to stave off more violence. Mike Doyle rounded up comments and reports from the city, the media and the blogosphere on his Chicagosphere blog. Doyle's point is a good one: the disparity between eyewitness reports and ones filtered by City officials through the media can differ greatly.

So what really happened on Independence Eve? If the official version of events is to be believed, we had a relatively peaceful celebration. If the blogosphere/twitterverse version of events is true, then city officials are not giving the media the full story.

Of course, all eye witnesses reports should be taken with a grain of salt, but that the City would try to gloss over statistics is no surprise. Any Taste of Chicago evening without a shootout like last year is going to be peaceful by comparison. It's a similar spin to the one put on the recent report of lower crime stats.

And, just for further evidence of what goes on but doesn't get reported, here's a video of a fight at the Taste via Windy Citizen. We're pretty sure there was at least a dozen more just like this one.

Update: After a little digging, we found on the City's official Tourism website that the fireworks were, indeed, listed to go off at 9 p.m., not 9:30 as has been circulated. Still lacking: an explanation as to the new time. - M.G.