NEAR WEST SIDE — A new video capturing a massive fight at a busy Near West Side intersection is going viral.
The video of the fight at West Jackson Boulevard and South Western Avenue on Monday afternoon had been shared on Facebook more than 2,100 times by Wednesday morning. The video was posted with the caption "The Jungle W[e]nt Up."
In the minutelong video, dozens of people, mostly young men, are captured fighting, throwing punches in the street and disrupting traffic near Golden Fish & Chicken. At one point, the mob appears to target one young man who is knocked to the ground, punching him and kicking him.
As cars zoom around the fight, a lone Chicago Police SUV can be seen stopped at the middle of the intersection. A police officer standing outside the SUV does not appear to intervene.
Chicago Police spokesman Frank Giancamilli said the officer observing the incident was following police protocol.
"CPD officers are training to assess and de-escalate situations before they become a greater hazard to public safety, as well as the officers involved. In this instance, the officer awaited additional units before intervening," Giancamilli said.
No one was arrested in the Monday afternoon brawl, he said.
The owner of Golden Fish and Chicken, who declined to give his name Tuesday, said he witnessed the fight from inside his shop at about 3 p.m. Monday.
About 60 people started fighting right outside his store on the northeast corner of the intersection before spilling out into the street, he said. The squad car "just sat there," he said. Later, a bunch of police officers on bikes came to the scene, but the fight had mostly ended by then.
The fight captured on video was a gang fight, the shop's owner said, and one gang appeared to far outnumber the other.
"This could've been very serious," he said. "This is what happens. It's a turf war."
One commenter on Facebook reacted: "At least they fighting and not shooting."
Chicago Police have increased beat patrols to provide a visible police presence near Western and Jackson, Giancamilli said late Tuesday.
The fight may have started after a cellphone was stolen from someone at nearby Touhy-Herbert Park, 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. said.
Burnett, whose office is a few blocks from the intersection, said Tuesday he would immediately call Near West District Police Cmdr. Ed Kulbida about the fight.
"I've been on them about this [intersection] anyway," Burnett said.
A neighbor living nearby, who asked that his name not be used, fearing retaliation, said he wasn't shocked by the video at all.
"I've seen worse than that outside of my window," the neighbor said. "This is not out of the ordinary. And I'm not shocked to see the police just standing there."
The intersection is known as "dangerous" in the neighborhood, he said. A man was shot at the intersection in late April. On May 11, a man and woman were shot a few blocks away on Jackson.
"I personally do not drive by that corner. If you ever hear there's a shooting happening in the neighborhood, that's the corner where it's happening, nine times out of 10, the neighbor said.
The neighbor said that he was awakened by gunfire about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and called 911. He said he fears shootings will be on the rise in the neighborhood this summer.
"I think it's going to be a bad summer," he said.
Last summer, a group of neighbors living near Touhy-Herbert Park, about two blocks from the intersection, said they were in a never-ending "turf war" with a group of gangbangers who party in the park at all hours of the night.
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