Police shooting spurs looting in Chicago

Chicago News USA

CHICAGO — Hundreds of people descended on downtown Chicago early Monday after a police shooting on the city’s South Side, with vandals smashing the windows of dozens of businesses and making off with merchandise, cash machines and anything else they could carry, police said.

Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters that the Sunday afternoon shooting of the man who had opened fire on officers apparently prompted a social media post that urged people to form a car caravan and converge on the business and shopping district.

About 400 additional officers were dispatched to the area after the department spotted the post. Over several hours, police made more than 100 arrests and 13 officers were injured, including one who was struck in the head with a bottle, Brown said.

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Brown dismissed any suggestion that the chaos was part of an organized protest of the shooting, calling it “pure criminality” that included occupants of a vehicle opening fire on police who were arresting a man they spotted carrying a cash register.

No officers were wounded by gunfire, but a security guard and a civilian were hospitalized in critical condition after being shot, and five guns were recovered, he said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot agreed that the melee had nothing to do with a protest. “This was straight-up felony criminal conduct,” she said. “This was an assault on our city.”

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Gallery: Chicago unrest

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A Facebook video falsely claimed that Chicago police had shot and killed a 15-year-old boy. Posted at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, the video shows upset residents confronting officers near the scene where police shot and wounded an adult suspect they said had fired at them that day. By Monday morning, the footage had been watched nearly 100,000 times.

Witnesses to the unrest described a scene that bore a striking resemblance to the unrest that unfolded when protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis devolved into chaos. Brown suggested that the lenient treatment of people arrested then played a role in what happened Monday.

“Not many of those cases were prosecuted to the full extent,” he said. “These looters, these thieves, these criminals being emboldened by [the lack of] consequences … emboldened to do more.”

At the same news conference, Lightfoot addressed looters directly, telling them that police had collected a lot of surveillance video and other evidence that will be used to arrest and prosecute as many as possible.

“We saw you, and we will come after you,” she warned.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx disputed any suggestion that her office had shied away from prosecuting people who were arrested for ransacking businesses weeks ago. She said none of those cases had been dropped.

“That is simply not true,” she said. “Those cases are coming to court now.”

Videos of the vandalism showed huge crowds of people smashing their way into businesses and streaming out of the broken windows and doors with clothes and other merchandise.

Train and bus service into downtown was temporarily suspended, and bridges over the Chicago River were lifted, preventing travel to and from the downtown area. Some highway ramps were also closed. Although those restrictions were eased later in the day, they were to be reimposed beginning Monday evening until this morning.

Brown said the Police Department would maintain a huge presence in the downtown area indefinitely, telling reporters that all days off had been canceled until further notice.

On the South Side, police responded about 2:30 p.m. Sunday to a call about a person with a gun in the Englewood neighborhood and tried to confront someone matching his description in an alley. He fled from officers on foot and shot at officers, police said.

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Officers returned fire, wounding the man, who was taken to a hospital for treatment. He was expected to recover. Three officers also were taken to a hospital for observation, the statement said.

More than an hour after the shooting, police and witnesses said a crowd faced off with officers after someone reportedly told people that police had shot and wounded a child. That crowd eventually dispersed.

Information for this article was contributed by Teresa Crawford of The Associated Press.

A pedestrian walks across Michigan Ave., Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, past a Chicago police department vehicle, a few blocks north of the raised Michigan Ave. bridge over the Chicago river after overnight vandalism in Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

A pedestrian walks across Michigan Ave., Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, past a Chicago police department vehicle, a few blocks north of the raised Michigan Ave. bridge over the Chicago river after overnight vandalism in Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Glass is shattered in the Nordstrom store after a riot occurred in the Gold Coast area of the city early in the morning of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 in Chicago. Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police in Chicago's Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city's downtown. (Jose M. Osorio /Chicago Tribune via AP)

Glass is shattered in the Nordstrom store after a riot occurred in the Gold Coast area of the city early in the morning of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 in Chicago. Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city’s downtown. (Jose M. Osorio /Chicago Tribune via AP)
Kajal Dalal walks through her family's food and liquor store Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after it was vandalized in downtown Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Kajal Dalal walks through her family’s food and liquor store Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after it was vandalized in downtown Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A door to the Block 37 retail building is shattered Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after vandals struck overnight in Chicago's famed Loop. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

A door to the Block 37 retail building is shattered Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after vandals struck overnight in Chicago’s famed Loop. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Yogi Dalal hugs his daughter Jigisha as his other daughter Kajal, left, bows her head at the family food and liquor store Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after the family business was vandalized in Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Yogi Dalal hugs his daughter Jigisha as his other daughter Kajal, left, bows her head at the family food and liquor store Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after the family business was vandalized in Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago police gather after rioting and looting occurred in the Gold Coast area of the city early in the morning of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police early in Chicago's Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city's downtown. (Jose M. Osorio /Chicago Tribune via AP)

Chicago police gather after rioting and looting occurred in the Gold Coast area of the city early in the morning of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police early in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city’s downtown. (Jose M. Osorio /Chicago Tribune via AP)
Volunteers help clean up the parking lot outside a Best Buy store, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after vandals struck overnight in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Volunteers help clean up the parking lot outside a Best Buy store, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after vandals struck overnight in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Apple iPhone boxes lay on the floor, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, inside an Apple Store that was vandalized overnight in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Apple iPhone boxes lay on the floor, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, inside an Apple Store that was vandalized overnight in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago. Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested following a night of looting and unrest that left several officers injured and caused damage in the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
A person exits an Old Navy store in the Chicago Loop with an armful of clothing in the early morning of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 in Chicago. Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police early Monday in Chicago's Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city's downtown. (Jose M. Osorio /Chicago Tribune via AP)

A person exits an Old Navy store in the Chicago Loop with an armful of clothing in the early morning of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 in Chicago. Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police early Monday in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city’s downtown. (Jose M. Osorio /Chicago Tribune via AP)

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