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Chicago cops at the beach, but at the ready

Given Saturday's sunny warm weather, Chicagoans hit the lakefront in droves and, at North Avenue beach at least, police did, too, standing in the sun in black tactical gear.

Gary Landisch surveyed the police presence as he walked to meet some friends at the beach. “Eight police vehicles. There's four cops chilling out on that one,” said Landisch.

Landisch was surprised by how many cops were at the beach because he walked through the Loop earlier and saw officers at every intersection. “There's been a lot of police officers standing around. I haven't really seen them doing much, to be honest,” he said.

Many of the officers at the beach were in tactical gear. They said they were just waiting, but were within striking distance of the Loop without actually being there. McCarthy has said he doesn't want officers in riot gear near the protests until they're needed because he says the psychological effect of their aggressive appearance could unnecessarily escalate the situation.

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