When last Saturday’s peaceful protests turned violent, and the city raised its bridges, the chaos spilled into Chicago Neighborhoods. The city took drastic measures instituting a curfew, bringing in the national guard and shutting down public transportation services, but it did not matter. Looters made their way through Chicago Neighborhoods and, in a span of 24 hours, wreaked havoc.
Businesses across Chicago neighborhoods were vandalized, looted, set on fire, or destroyed. While CPD deployed teams to protect the Central Business District and the Gold Coast, they were noticeably absent or scarce on the South and West Sides. Numerous reports of police cars sitting in parking lots watching the looting occur and doing nothing flooded social media timelines by angry residents; however, Police Chief David Brown said police arrested around 700 people on the South and West Sides Sunday. In a press conference Monday, Mayor Lightfoot denied that she allowed the South and West sides to go unprotected while prioritizing the downtown area.
“We didn’t stand by, and the let the South and West Sides Burn”- Lori Lightfoot
In driving around the various southside neighborhoods, the devastation is evident.
Residents in these neighborhoods now grapple with where they can go to purchase food and medicine for their families. While the South and West sides of the city were robbed of essential services such as grocery stores and pharmacies, looters appeared to have free rein, and most of it was broadcast on social media. Looters did not just rob businesses of inventory. They robbed a community of jobs, essential services, and medicine for the sick and elderly.
Mayor Lightfoot said more officers and resources would be coming to neighborhoods, and Gov. Pritzker activated additional Illinois guard to help local law enforcement.