After BLM protestors destroyed $60 million in property damages on Monday night on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s mayor is finally stepping up to the weeks of increased violence following the death of George Floyd on May 25th. While she has had a tense relationship with President Trump and the Chicago police as she stood back to allow peaceful protests, the result has been increased chaos, rioting, and looting. When asked by an assertive reporter if the looters felt empowered to loot these stores because of the “lack of circumstances” in Chicago following George Floyd’s death, Lightfoot adopted a new attitude towards the protests, and stood with her city’s police.
The question was originally directed to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, and the reporter asked, “I almost sounds as though you were saying the reason we have this is the courts and the prosecutors were not doing their job, that they were going too easy on the looters from the last time around.”
Brown responded that “there were no consequences for the people arrested,” but quickly, Mayor Lightfoot stepped in, and told the reporter, “Do not bait us. This is a serious situation. People are concerned about their safety. Officers are concerned about their safety. So, don’t bait us. What we’re saying is, as a result of what happened last night, there have to be consequences. We’ve got teams of people that are aggressively out there identifying the people responsible, looking at the plates, and working on bringing them justice.”
Lightfoot then continued, siding once again with the police and the justice system instead of the protestors, “When we do, when we do make those arrests, our expectation is that it is going to be treated with the level of seriousness that is should be. Don’t try to bait us, mischaracterize, pit one against the other. We’re not playing that. We’re in a serious situation here, and we need a serious response.”
Brown had said earlier in the press conference, before Mayor Lightfoot intervened, that the looters had an extra confidence due to the lack of consequences earlier this summer, and many got away with their criminal acts. Brown said, “We have to have consequences for the arrests that Chicago police officers make through great threat to their own safety. They’re being shot at to make these arrests.”
Sunday afternoon, Chicago police officers responded to a call about an armed man in South Side, Chicago. As the officers were in pursuit, the man turned around and “fired shots” at the officers, causing them to shoot back and for Latrell Allen to be taken to the hospital. A social media post then rallied hundred of people to go to downtown Chicago to loot the stores by smashing windows, taking merchandise, and “anything they could carry,” according to the police.