Warning video contains graphic language and is not suitable for children.
The two women, mothers of young men, cried and shouted as they stood near the Discount Mega Mall in Little Village on Tuesday night.
Both heard their sons had been shot. People around them spoke of a dead boy lying somewhere at the mall on 26th and Whipple streets, killed by police. Someone said four people had been shot. Others drove off to check hospitals.
Finally, an officer yelled to the growing crowd: “Nobody was shot. You can all go home. Nobody was shot.”
But the yelling and confusion continued into the night, fueled by rumors that drew more and more angry people to the streets. Scattered skirmishes broke out with police as Facebook posts titled “Rest in Peace” named two neighborhood men supposedly shot by officers.
When things calmed down two hours later, eight officers had been sent to hospitals with injuries ranging from a broken hand to cuts on the face.
Eleven people, including three 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old, were arrested and charged with counts ranging from aggravated battery to a police officer to resisting arrest and reckless conduct, according to police.
“It just shows you the mentality of folks in some of our neighborhoods,” police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Wednesday as he once again denied police shot anyone. “The majority of the people that live in these neighborhoods are really good people. And they’re sick and tired of seeing that kind of crap.”