“It was not an organized protest,” Brown said. “It was more of an incident of pure criminality. ”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot echoed these statements: “To be clear, this had nothing to do with legitimate and protected First Amendment speech. “
Lightfoot said the city has activated a neighborhood protection program that will be in place until officials are satisfied that “neighborhoods are safe”.
She thanked the police department for what she called professional and restrained during tough times recently.
Property damage is not limited to the city center only
The city saw 31 shootings over the weekend, killing three, according to Brown.
“These shootings and looting that we have seen overnight are totally unacceptable,” he said.
Brown said “misinformation” appeared to have spread on the streets and on social media following a shooting involving an officer on Sunday afternoon in the Engelwood area that led to the arrest and arrest. hospitalization of a 20-year-old man. Police said the man pointed a gun at a walking chase.
More than an hour after the shooting, police and witnesses said a crowd confronted police after someone told people police shot and injured a child. This crowd eventually dispersed.
But social media posts encouraged the “trailers” to come downtown and loot, Brown said.
Along the Magnificent Mile, people have been seen entering and exiting stores with bags full of merchandise. In the streets of downtown, empty cash drawers from stores were strewn about and ATMs were torn apart. Local media reports showed footage of a number of jewelry stores and pharmacies that had been targeted.
Stores miles from downtown were also ransacked, with parking lots littered with glass and items sourced from inside stores. Hangers and boxes that once held televisions and other electronics were also thrown away.
There was a large police presence Monday morning outside an Apple store north of downtown Chicago. A few blocks away, debris was strewn in the parking lots outside a Best Buy and a large liquor store.
Train and bus service to downtown have been temporarily suspended at the request of public safety officials, the Chicago Transit Authority said on Twitter. Bridges over the Chicago River have been lifted, preventing travel to and from downtown, and Illinois state police have blocked some freeway ramps to downtown.
Chicago and its suburbs, like many other cities, experienced unrest following the Minneapolis police assassination of George Floyd. Chicago’s central business district and its shopping areas were closed for several days after stores were damaged following marches protesting Floyd’s death.