A police-involved shooting sparked hundreds of people to rally in Chicago and some took the less productive approach of rioting vandalizing the city and looting. Police say they arrested hundreds involved in illicit acts after police officers shot a man they say was armed, officials said.
Vandals smashed the windows of dozens of local businesses and made off with merchandise, cash machines, and anything else they could carry, police stated during a press event this morning, ABC News reported.
Several videos uploaded to social media showed the scene Sunday night, as hundreds looted downtown Chicago stores.
Looting continues in downtown Chicago as of 5:45am. These people are coming out of the Block 37 mall on Randolph west of State Street. Looting has been going on all over downtown and the Magnificent Mile since around midnight. Police are all over the place. @WBBMNewsradio pic.twitter.com/qrBwm8KCZX
— Bernie Tafoya (@BernieTafoya) August 10, 2020
More than 100 people were arrested and 13 officers were injured, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Monday morning at a news conference. At one point there was even an exchanging of gunfire with officers, authorities said.
What happened overnight was an act of violence against this city. We will not tolerate these actions and we will hold those responsible accountable. pic.twitter.com/liaRoMIgUp
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) August 10, 2020
“This wasn’t an organized protest. It was an incident of pure criminality,” Brown said. “Criminals took to streets with a confidence that there would be no consequences for their actions. I refuse to let these cowardly acts hold our city hostage.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the response by over a hundred people, criminal.
“We are waking up in shock this morning,” Lightfoot said Monday. “This had nothing to do with protected First Amendment expression. … This was abject criminal behavior. …This is straight-up felony criminal conduct.”
Lightfoot also announced during a Monday press conference that she instituted a community protection program involving a lockdown and increased police presence “for the foreseen days until we know our neighborhoods are safe.”
The shooting happened Sunday afternoon when police responded to a distress call reporting there was a person brandishing a weapon in the Englewood neighborhood, according to the city’s police department. Authorities then tried to confront a man who matched the description of the suspect when he began to run. The man then started firing at officers and they discharged their weapons back at him, ABC 7 reported.
A total of two officers were involved in the shooting that injured the unknown 20-year-old man. Poice disclosed key facts of the perpetrators’ past criminal history expressing he had a previous four arrests for burglary, child endangerment and domestic battery. The unknown man was taken to a hospital where he is in stable condition according to authorities.
Brown stated the event was stoked by “tempers flared, fueled by misinformation” about the shooting. Police say they started noticing social media posts encouraging looting and were then called to reports of a mob scene at about 12:20 a.m., he said.
Over 300 additional officers were dispatched to the area after the department spotted the post.
Two of the injured officers included a sergeant who was struck with a bottle and another whose nose was broken, Brown said. Details about specific injuries to other officers were still being gathered, said Thomas Ahern, the Deputy Director News Affairs and Communications for the Chicago Police Department.
There was also a situation where occupants of a vehicle opened fire on police who were arresting a man they spotted carrying a cash register.
No officers were wounded by the gunfire, but a security guard and a civilian were hospitalized in critical condition after being shot, and five guns were recovered, Brown said.
— Vi Nguyen (@ViNguyen) August 10, 2020
The unrest sparked in downtown Chicago caused a lifting of the bridges, blocking of expressway ramps, and more to prevent any more property damage or events from transpiring. According to the Chicago Tribune, the city has since lowered bridges, re-opened blocked expressway entrance ramps, and restarted Chicago Transit Authority service into downtown. However, authorities have said that on Monday night they will restrict access to downtown again. Then they will re-open access to the city in the morning.
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