The looting of downtown Chicago occured for the second time since May. While most of the city was asleep, Looters once again caught the city off guard as they raided stores and businesses along the Magnificent Mile, Central Business District, and other residential areas. Police say most of this stemmed from an incident falsely reported on social media. Initial reports stated that police shot an unarmed teen in Englewood on Sunday. However, that later proved to be false as the suspect in their 20s who was being pursued by police after allegedly being seen with a gun on the street. When confronted officers say, he shot at them, and they returned gunfire hitting him. He was taken to the University of Chicago hospital, where he is recovering.
Deputy Chief Yolanda Talley said the crowd was misinformed and thought the police shot and wounded a child. During the tense exchange, officers were shot at, maced, and bricks were thrown at their vehicles. After that, social media posts alerted police to a possible organized caravan to the loot specifically to loot.
“This was not an organized protest; this was an incident of pure criminality. This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city”, said Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown.
Over 400 officers were dispatched to downtown Chicago where the looting began. Looters in Chicago broke into the many high-end retail stores on Michigan Avenue, River North, Rush Street, the Diamond district in the Loop, 87th, and the Dan Ryan, and the shopping mall located on North Avenue and Clybourn. In total, 13 officers were injured; two people were shot, and over 100 were arrested.
In response to the looting of downtown Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot immediately lifted the bridges around the Chicago river and shut down expressway entrances. CTA also temporarily suspended service. There is also restricted access to downtown Chicago until further notice from 8 pm to 6 am. When asked if the city needs the national guard to step in, Mayor Lightfoot said there are no immediate plans to bring in the national guard and that the city is working with State Police and other agencies. She implored the State’s Attorney’s Office to prosecute those arrested for looting and vandalism and force them to face the consequences for their actions.
Danielle Sanders is a freelance writer/reporter living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.