Following Monday’s widespread looting of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, which resulted in $60 million in property damages, Black Lives Matter organized a rally outside of the South Loop police station to show support for those who were caught and were being held in custody for their criminal acts. More than 100 individuals were arrested, thirteen police officers injured, and Mayor Lightfoot has said she is using all surveillance possible to bring those who escaped arrest but were involved in the looting to justice.
BLM organizer Ariel Atkins defended the looting, and told NBC, “I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats. That makes sure that person has clothes.”
Atkins continued about the damage done and the merchandise taken, saying, “That is reparations. Anything they wanted to take they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”
The police were called over a Latrell Adams, who was reportedly carrying a gun in Englewood. According to the police, they pursued Allen who shot at them, which caused them to shoot back, and led to his hospitalization. BLM Chicago are protesting reports that Chicago police were not wearing body cameras when pursuing Allen, who has been charged with attempted murder for shooting at the officers. Later, around 6:30pm, a Facebook post falsely stated that police had been involved in a shooting of a 15-year-old-boy. Atkins said, “Even though the Department of Justice said with the consent decree they are no longer allowed to chase people, they decided they were going to chase, and they shot this young man multiple times.”
Following these police shootings, one true and one false, a social media post called on protestors to gather in Chicago’s downtown district after the police shooting of Latrell Allen, who was charged with attempted murder for firing at police officers. Rioting and looting then began, leading to the destruction of numerous businesses in this popular Chicago destination.
In a statement acquired by the Chicago Sun-Times, BLM Chicago stated, “The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the [Chicago Police Department] is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in.”
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown condemned the violence and looting. As he spoke to reporters, he said, ““This was not an organized protest. Rather, this was an incident of pure criminality. This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city.”
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