Famed Chicago, Illinois, retail corridor the “Magnificent Mile” was overtaken by looters Sunday night and the early hours of Monday morning, according to multiple news reports, with the cause of the unrest unknown, resulting in over 100 arrests with about a dozen police officers injured.
The unrest along Michigan Ave., nicknamed the “Magnificent Mile” for its upscale shopping, began around 11 p.m. CDT Sunday night, according to CBS News’ Chicago affiliate.
Police arrived on the scene shortly after midnight, NBC News’ Chicago affiliate reported, responding to reports that hundreds of people had assembled on Michigan Ave. and were ransacking stores.
Videos and photos captured by reporters on the ground showed looters carrying goods out of Macy’s, Tesla, Lamborghini, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach, Apple and other high-end stores, after having smashed windows and vandalized the storefronts.
Some of the residents involved exchanged gunfire with police officers at around 4:30 a.m., the Chicago Tribune reported, with police reporting no injuries but uncertain if they had injured anyone in the altercation.
Bus and train service to the area has been suspended, according to the NBC affiliate, and bridges over the Chicago River have been lifted, further limiting access to the Magnificent Mile.
Police began gaining control of the unrest around 3 a.m., the Tribune reported, and by 6 a.m., looters had mostly cleared the Michigan Ave. area.
What we don’t know
Precisely what spurred the looting. Around 3 p.m. Sunday police shot and wounded a suspect in the Englewood neighborhood, about 10 miles south of the Magnificent Mile. Police told the CBS affiliate that the suspect was firing at them. The situation turned tense when area residents on social media said the wounded suspect was a teenager, with outraged crowds assembling to face off against police. Officers told CBS that the suspect, transported to an area hospital and expected to survive, was in his late teens or early 20s, and called the confusion “misinformation.” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told the Tribune that after the shooting, messages appeared on social media calling for people to head to downtown.
Over 100 and 13. Police had arrested over 100 people as of 9 a.m., the Tribune reported, while 13 officers were injured.
“What occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot told the Tribune. “And there cannot be any excuse for it. Period.”
The unrest comes about three weeks after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that 150 federal agents would be dispatched to Chicago to help quell protests. President Trump previously deployed federal agents to mitigate protests in Portland, Oregon. Actions by agents in Portland, however, were highly controversial, as reports surfaced that unidentifiable agents made arrests without explanation and hauled protesters away in unmarked vehicles. Lightfoot previously opposed federal agents in Chicago. After the DHS announcement was made, however, Lightfoot was cautiously optimistic, according to the NBC affiliate, because the U.S. attorney’s office would work to supervise some of the agents. During a Monday press conference, Lightfoot was adamant about the unacceptability of the looting. “I don’t care—I do not care—whatever justification was given for this. There is no justification for criminal behavior, ever.”