George Floyd fallout: Lightfoot dismisses Trump’s threat to send military into Chicago; city’s COVID-19 restrictions to loosen despite unrest; protesters gather at Wrigley Field

Chicago News

Mayor Lori Lightfoot dismissed President Donald Trump’s threat to send the military into city streets across the country to quell protests as “bluster,” but promised to fight such a move in court if tries it in Chicago.

“That’s not gonna happen,” Lightfoot said Tuesday. “I will see him in court.”

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Earlier on Tuesday, the mayor announced that Chicago will move ahead with looser coronavirus restrictions as planned on Wednesday despite widespread looting and heightened public health concerns brought on by thousands of people protesting in tight groups across the city. But Lightfoot said she hasn’t yet determined when full access to the city’s downtown will be restored to the public.

Here are the latest developments:

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4:54 p.m.: Divvy bikes suspended in wake of mass looting; activists decry cutbacks to public transit

Divvy bikes haven’t been available since Sunday afternoon because of mass looting and clashes with police downtown and in other areas.

On Tuesday, a local advocacy group for biking and transit launched a petition to bring back Divvy, as well as full CTA service. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot said both the CTA and Divvy bikes have been used to commit crimes, and she could not turn a “blind eye” to the issue.

The Active Transportation Alliance said in a blog entry that while it appreciated the position faced by Chicago leaders, “we need reliable transportation options more than ever.”

Metra has been out of service since Monday morning, and both CTA and Pace suburban bus service shut down service on Sunday and Monday nights. CTA has limited service during the day to avoid wide areas of the city, including downtown. Pace also has not been coming into downtown Chicago, though it plans to resume normal service on Wednesday. Read more here. —Mary Wisniewski

4:30 p.m.: Lightfoot to give televised address this evening

Amid ongoing civil unrest following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will give a televised address this evening that’s largely expected to encourage the public to stay calm.

Lightfoot will speak at 6:30 p.m. from her ceremonial office, and “deliver a State of the City Address to Chicago’s residents from her ceremonial office to contextualize events that have happened in recent days,” her office said. You can watch Lightfoot’s address live here.

The mayor has spent the past several days pleading for peace as protesters marched and traveling mobs of citizens pillaged stores in the neighborhoods. The city has blocked off downtown roads to keep non-residents or workers out – a decision that’s been criticized as prioritizing the Loop over neighborhoods, though Lightfoot defended the decision by saying it allowed officials to put police in neighborhoods. —Gregory Pratt

4:20 p.m.: Insurance should help businesses damaged during unrest, but merchants question whether it will be enough

The looters who on Sunday ransacked Z Smoke Shop, which has been selling glass pipes and vaping products in Logan Square for eight years, left behind not only major damage but also empty shelves that could take weeks to fill.

“We will be closed for a good while,” said manager Kyle Korab. “There isn’t one piece of glass that isn’t broke.”

The business called its insurance company immediately. Now it’s waiting, nervously, to see if its claim is approved.

“We’re not 100% sure,” Korab said. “They might find a reason to not cover it.” Read the story here. —Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz

4 p.m.: Protesters march from Wrigley Field to Old Town

A large group of protesters moved south down Clark Street from Wrigley Field around 2 p.m., trailed by several cars and even a van toting water to keep marchers hydrated.

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Bryan Cho said he has been volunteering his car as a caravan and supply van for three days now.

“Water guys, take as many as you need,” he said.

More than 20 cars appeared to be following along with the group, handing out water.

At the corner of Clark and Drummond Place, Laura Janota took a break from watering her garden to pour water onto exhausted marchers.

“I was watering my garden and I heard them coming, so I brought my watering can out to provide some relief,” she said.

Crowds of predominantly young people streamed down sidewalks southbound on Clark clutching bottles of water and makeshift signs. Many chanted “Black Lives Matter” as police on bike guided the crowd. Part of the crowd stopped at Clark and Menomonee Street where a few hundred conducted a sit in.

After marching to the north end of Old Town a little after 3 p.m., and making briefly for Lake Shore Drive, much of the group headed back north on Clark Street, although some split off and headed west. —Jessica Villagomez

3:22 p.m.: Grocery delivery could be tougher to come by as George Floyd fallout continues

Delivery services like Amazon, Instacart and Shipt say they have scaled back services in cities including Chicago amid ongoing unrest and looting.

Fallout from the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd sparked protests and civil unrest in cities across the country, including Chicago. A 9 p.m. curfew is in place in the city, where some damaged stores remain closed and others have reduced their hours.

That could make grocery delivery tougher to come by at a time when consumers, concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, have been relying on the services to avoid unnecessary trips to the store.

Shipt, which delivers products from stores including Target and CVS, has temporarily suspended service in the downtown Chicago area. Outside downtown and in the suburbs, it adjusted hours to comply with local curfews or earlier closing times at stores offering the service, the company said in an email.

Amazon, which owns Whole Foods, said it adjusted routes or scaled back delivery options to ensure workers’ safety in a handful of cities, including Chicago. Read more here. —Lauren Zumbach

3:20 p.m.: Pritzker, Preckwinkle turn to religious and community leaders in urging protesters to channel anger toward criminal justice reform, economic development

After four days of civil unrest, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Tuesday turned to religious and community leaders to urge protesters to channel anger over the death of George Floyd toward efforts for criminal justice reform and economic development in minority communities.

“What’s very important to me is that we establish an agenda — an agenda that’s led, in part, by the very peaceful protesters that are out on the streets, that were there protesting last night, the night before and the night before, the folks who there with legitimate grievance,” Pritzker said.

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Preckwinkle encouraged those angered by the “racist, preventable death” of Floyd, who was African American, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis to “seize this moment and try to bring freedom and justice to every American.”

“We cannot do this by destroying our communities,” said Preckwinkle, a Hyde Park resident. “We cannot do this by decimating what makes our black and brown communities so strong, so close-knit, even in the face of decades, generations of racist government policies and disinvestment.” Read more here. —Dan Petrella

3:10 p.m.: Top cop says National Guard troops patrolling neighborhoods would be ‘wrought with failure’

Chicago police Superintendent David Brown on Tuesday explained his opposition to having National Guard troops patrol the city’s neighborhoods to quell protests, looting, and other unrest that has flared since the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

“Let’s revisit how we got here: We got here for an inappropriate use of force in Minneapolis,” Brown said at an unrelated news conference Tuesday. “We got here through police officers not following their training in positionally asphyxiating a person until they died — caught on tape, and we’ve seen it over and over again to all of our embarrassment.

“And now you want to call in the National Guard who are not suited to use force in the ways all of our residents expect? All the hard work that our profession has … trained … I want to turn over to a National Guard that’s not trained, has no connection to our neighborhoods, have not been engaged, who have not built trust, to bring us back to the place we started?” Brown said. “We’re not considering that.”

Brown also noted that National Guard troops don’t have the training in de-escalation as police officers do, and asking them to step in is “wrought with failure.”

“What is the likely outcome when rocks are thrown at the National Guard? When shovels and other (objects), hammers, when shots are fired from a crowd at the National Guard?” said Brown. “Likely not the restraint, the patience that our officers have utilized.

“They don’t have the training in any of those areas or the experience, and to ask them to come into our neighborhoods and be faced with those critical split-second decisions without the training is obviously asking for more of the same,” he continued.

Brown also addressed the “looters’ tactics,” and their connection to protests and the challenges police face.

“They peacefully protest and then they end the protest, while all at the same time factions of peaceful (protesters) are in the crowd ready to loot as soon as peaceful protests end …,” Brown said. “And then our officers have to both navigate First Amendment-sacred rights, but at the same no tolerance for looting.”

He also urged the public to help businesses board up their windows and rebuild the city. He said he needs the public’s help with pushing back against rumors on social media “that fuel some of the divisiveness” in the city. Such rumors about the civil unrest has caused anxiety among the public, he said. —Jeremy Gorner

2:19 p.m.: Tinley Park imposes curfew ahead of scheduled protest

Mayor Jacob Vandenberg of suburban Tinley Park said a temporary curfew has been reinstated for Tuesday night, starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday and ending at 6 a.m. Wednesday. He cited a protest expected to take place this evening at the Oak Park Avenue Metra station.

The village is requesting that businesses along Oak Park Avenue close at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

“The Village is taking these measures to ensure the safety and security of residents and businesses. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding,” the mayor said in a released statement. —Chicago Tribune staff

2:15 p.m.: Lightfoot says she’ll see Trump in court if he tries to send in military: ‘This is a man who likes to bluster’

Mayor Lori Lightfoot dismissed President Donald Trump’s threat to send the military into city streets across the country to quell protests as “bluster,” but promised to fight such a move in court if tries it in Chicago.

“That’s not gonna happen,” Lightfoot said Tuesday. “I will see him in court.”

Referring to a 2017 incident where Trump tweeted, “Send in the feds!” about city violence, Lightfoot said, “Keep in mind, this is a man who likes to bluster. Let’s not overreact.”

Late Monday, Trump held a Rose Garden news conference to threaten he would mobilize the U.S. military to end “riots and lawlessness” in states that have erupted since the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. It was unclear what form such an action might take.

Trump then walked across Pennsylvania Avenue to St. John’s Church, where he held a Bible for a photo-op, after federal officers had used tear gas, flash bangs and rubber bullets to clear peaceful protesters to make way for the president. Gov. J.B. Pritzker appeared on CNN as the scene unfolded and condemned Trump’s actions.

Lightfoot’s comments Tuesday marked the latest exchange between Chicago’s mayor and Trump. Lightfoot last week responded to Trump tweeting a message that included, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” in reply to rioting in Minneapolis and elsewhere following Floyd’s death. Lightfoot said the president cannot be allowed to divide and destabilize the country. Read more here. —Gregory Pratt

2:05 p.m.: Protesters gather Tuesday afternoon outside Wrigley Field for North Side protest march

On the North side where marchers were set to gather at Wrigley Field at 2 p.m, and head south on Clark Street, the Town Hall District Station is just two blocks away. Police have taped off the station.

By a little before 2 p.m., a sizeable crowd had gathered in front of Wrigley. Many people were hauling packs of bottled water and first aid supplies as temperatures push 90 degrees.

“This is not a riot!,” the crowd chanted.

2:03 p.m.: Naperville businesses, residents get down to the business of cleaning up after looting

Naperville residents awoke to a shattered downtown Tuesday, as a previous night of unrest led to looting and vandalism in the city’s main shopping and eating district. And then they got to work.

Sonya Mingo-Williams and her two children left their Naperville home with brooms and trash bags at 6 a.m., just as a citywide curfew lifted. They arrived to find hundreds of like-minded Naperville residents ready to clean shattered glass from the sidewalks and scrub vandalized buildings.

People smashed stores windows along several blocks Monday, including the local library, Starbucks and Chico’s clothing store. In addition to being vandalized, the Pandora jewelry store was entirely ransacked.

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“This is our town, and we were so disappointed by what happened last night,” she said. “We wanted to come down and help as soon as we could.”

Mingo-Williams watched the violence unfold via social media Monday and was disheartened by the crimes she saw. She had attended a peaceful protest earlier in Naperville earlier in the day with her two children and it troubled her to watch the positive messages sent during that nonviolent gathering overshadowed by the destruction.

“As a black family, we have talked to our children and it’s hard to see what’s going on in this country,” she said. “We tell them that they can help bring about change. Our message is strong and our message is important. And in this moment, people have tried to exploit it.”

An estimated 300 people marched through the downtown Monday night, as police officers in riot gear watched. At least one person reported being stabbed, but police had not yet determined whether he had been injured by broken glass or a knife.

A police officer was injured by a fireworks, officials said. His condition was unknown.

As he surveyed the damage Tuesday morning, Mayor Steve Chirico said police had photographed license plates of cars parked in public garages and lots to determine where the participants live. The analysis has not been completed, but he said early indications are between 80 to 90% did not live in Naperville.

Chirico met with protestors earlier in the day, urging them to get involved in their communities by volunteering and supporting political candidates who believe in social justice. The nonviolent protest’s message is now obscured by the nighttime unrest, he said.

“I think it is lost,” Chirico said as his voice choked with emotion. “And that’s unfortunate because people tried to do something good.”

There were still signed of goodness in Naperville that morning, as estimated 700 people helped with clean up efforts. The group had most it cleaned up by 7:45 a.m., as local businesses showed the gratitude by plying the volunteers with free food and drinks.

“I wasn’t here to help with the (peaceful) protests yesterday and I felt like I needed to help,” said Lisle resident Catt Eicher as she swept to up tiny shards of glass along Jackson Avenue. “It’s better than looking at Twitter and feel sad (or) angry.”

The town’s response heartened Councilman Benny White, who marched in the nonviolent protest earlier Monday.

“The great thing, for me, is seeing the resilience of our community,” said White, the city council’s only African-American member. “People are down here lending a hand and making it happen. I’m extremely proud of our community.” —Stacy St. Clair

1:22 p.m.: Evanston police take 12 people into custody following Best Buy looting incidents

Twelve people were taken into custody following two looting incidents at a Best Buy in Evanston, according to police.

Evanston police responded to a report of looting at the Best Buy store on Howard Street Monday afternoon around 2:30 p.m., said Evanston police Commander Brian Henry.

“We had people right around the corner,” Henry said, so police responded right away after receiving the call.

Police took a total of five people into custody following that “organized” incident Monday.

That follows a similar incident at the same store Sunday evening in which seven people were taken into custody, Henry said.

None of the 12 people taken into custody over the two days were from Evanston, Henry said. Police said they do not believe the incidents were connected to what was a peaceful protest Sunday afternoon.

Charges were pending as of Tuesday morning. —Genevieve Bookwalter

12:57 p.m.: Feds charge 2 more people in connection to weekend looting in Chicago

Two more people face federal charges following looting in Chicago over the weekend.

Brandon Pegues and Amber L. Peltzer, both 28 and from the south suburbs, were charged Monday with illegal possession of a firearm. This follows federal charges against Matthew Rupert, 28, of Galesburg, for allegedly driving to Chicago and Minnesota to loot and riot.

Early Sunday, around 12:40 a.m., Chicago police officers responded to crowds near 801 South Financial Place, authorities said. The officers saw four men running south, some carrying hammers, according to court filings.

Pegues looked at the police, adjusted the right side of his waistband and fled south on South Financial Place, according to the complaint. As officers chased him, he fell and a loaded 9 mm pistol dropped on the ground. Pegues pushed it under a car, where police recovered it, the complaint said.

Around the same time, officers approached Peltzer sitting in a car in front of a bar at 16th Street and Michigan Avenue after noticing the glass front door of the business was shattered, according to the complaint. An officer saw Peltzer reach toward the front seat and the officers saw a loaded handgun lying there, authorities said.

Peltzer was convicted of aggravated robbery in Will County in 2014, according to the federal filings. He is from Lansing.

Pegues has a 2010 felony conviction for residential burglary in Cook County. On those charges, he was sentenced to 30 months’ probation. He is from Riverdale. —Sophie Sherry

11:50 a.m.: 6 Atlanta officers charged after dramatic video of arrest of college student from Chicago

Six Atlanta police officers have been charged after a dramatic video showed authorities pulling two young people, including a college student from Chicago, from a car during protests over the death of George Floyd, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges during a news conference.

“I feel a little safer now that these monsters are off the street and no longer able to terrorize anyone else,” said Messiah Young, who was dragged from the vehicle along with his girlfriend, Taniyah Pilgrim, while they were caught in traffic.

Young, 22, of Chicago, is a senior at Morehouse, where he’s studying business management. Pilgrim, 20 — from San Antonio, Texas — is a psychology major at Spelman College. Both schools are historically black colleges near downtown Atlanta. Read more here. —Associated Press

11 a.m.: Naperville cleans up downtown after peaceful marches gave way to violence

Naperville at 10 a.m. Tuesday was the idyllic picture that draws people to the city: kayakers paddling down the DuPage River, mothers pushing strollers along the Riverwalk, families riding their bicycles along the streets in downtown Naperville.I

t was a vastly different image from what the central business district looked 12 hours earlier, when unruly, raging groups of people broke windows, looted businesses and pelted police with rocks, bricks and water bottles.

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Not willing to accept Monday night, Naperville volunteers showed up early Tuesday morning to clean up the damage done during hours of looting that occurred after peaceful protests occurred throughout the afternoon and evening. Read more here. — Erin Hegarty, Suzanne Baker

10:50 a.m.: Chicago will still loosen restrictions on Wednesday as planned, despite widespread looting and coronavirus concerns, Mayor Lori Lightfoot says

Despite widespread looting and heightened public health concerns brought on by thousands of people protesting in tight groups across the city, Chicago will move ahead with looser coronavirus restrictions as planned on Wednesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced.

Lightfoot previously said restaurants, hotels and many more businesses would get to start opening June 3 with reduced capacities and tight rules in place designed to stop COVID-19 cases from spiking. That timeline seemed imperiled in recent days as fallout from the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd led to nationwide protests and civil unrest, but Lightfoot said the city will move forward with its plan as scheduled.

“I want to tell the city now after a lot of consultation and, yes, a lot of prayer, we will reopen tomorrow and take this important next step as planned,” Lightfoot said at a morning new conference.

The decision to reopen took some by surprise. Over the weekend, Lightfoot suggested that protests could delay a reopening. Read more here. — Gregory Pratt

9:35 a.m.: Police release video of fatal shooting at North Riverside mall

North Riverside Police have released video of a fatal shooting during Sunday’s looting outside the town’s mall.

The 12-second clip shows a gunman in pursuit of another man, who falls to the sidewalk behind Olive Garden Restaurant at North Riverside Park Mall. The gunman, with both hands gripping a weapon, fires multiple times at close range into the fallen man’s body. The gunman turns, runs and gets into a waiting car that then drives off. Read more here. —Todd Lighty

9:25 a.m.: 4 police officers shot in night of violence in St. Louis

Four police officers were shot in downtown St. Louis early Tuesday, as a day of peaceful protests turned into a violent and destructive night in the city.

Early in the day, hundreds of people gathered across the St. Louis region again Monday to protest the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

But tensions rose after the sun fell in downtown St. Louis.

Just after midnight, four officers, all men, were shot near 16th and Olive streets. All four are conscious, and their injuries are considered non-life-threatening. Read more here. —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

8 a.m.: Lombard man charged with attempted terrorism after police say he approached squad cars with Molotov cocktail

A Lombard man has been charged with attempted terrorism after police say he approached squad cars with a Molotov cocktail, lighters and a bat.

Christian Frazee, 25 of the 900 Block of South Lombard Avenue in the western suburb, has been ordered held on $1 million bond.

Police said Frazee was dressed in black, wearing a face covering and latex gloves, when he headed toward the Village of Lombard municipal campus around 12:30 a.m. Monday.

Frazee was seen walking toward squad cars and employee vehicles with a lighter and Molotov cocktail, according to a statement from DuPage County’s state’s attorney’s office. Frazee also had a butane torch, seven additional lighters and a bat.

Frazee was charged with one count of possession of an incendiary device and one count of attempted terrorism, both felonies. —Sophie Sherry

7:45 a.m.: Two shot dead and 60 arrested in Cicero, town blames ‘outside agitators’

Police in riot gear patrolled the streets of Cicero Monday night after two people were shot dead and two others were wounded following a day of unrest that the western suburb blamed on “outside agitators.”

At least 60 people were arrested as the town deployed more than 100 officers in addition to more than 100 sheriff’s officers and state troopers.

“Outside agitators shot at least two people near 50th Street and Cermak Road,” Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania said. “But police apprehended the three suspects involved in the shooting. These were outside agitators who were driving through Cicero seeking to cause trouble.” Read more here. —Jessica Villagomez

6:15 a.m.: Chicago police and city leaders defend handling of protests and looting as questions swirl over response some found lacking

For some three hours on Sunday, the officers stood in a long row on Pulaski Road, a line of blue visible from blocks away.

They wore face shields, many flipped up to reveal expressionless faces. The lights of idling police vehicles flickered at their backs.

And right in front of them on Madison Street, the West Garfield Park neighborhood’s main business artery, liquor stores, wig shops and dollar stores were suffering sustained looting, as people packed shopping carts and shoved large plastic storage bins full of items down the street. They carried liquor bottles and mannequin heads, crawling through broken windows to find items.

All the while, the officers did not intervene. Read more here. – Annie Sweeney, Gregory Pratt and Jeremy Gorner

6 a.m.: Sparked by death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, protests in Chicago fueled by decades of Police Department problems

George Floyd’s death at the hands of police 400 miles away catalyzed days of street protests in Chicago, but the demonstrations here are rooted in anger over decades of abuse of African Americans by the city’s officers, activists said.

The protests continued a tradition of Chicago activists crowding streets to complain about bias in enforcement, a lack of accountability for officers and police killing black people.

The motivating forces driving the protests also extend beyond policing to unemployment and an often-ineffective health care system at a moment when a coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately hurt minorities, said Aislinn Pulley, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter: Chicago. Read more here.Dan Hinkel

5:50 a.m.: Federal authorities accuse Galesburg man of traveling to Chicago for protests with homemade bombs, charge him with inciting a riot

An Illinois man arrested in Chicago over the weekend had homemade bombs in his car and had been seen on videos posted on the internet participating in the looting and rioting in Minneapolis and Chicago, according to federal charges filed Monday.

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Matthew Rupert, 28, of Galesburg, was charged in U.S. District Court in Minnesota with inciting a riot and possession of an explosive device, court records show. Read more here. —Jason Meisner

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