CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—Hundreds of looters in support of the Black Lives Matter movement swept through downtown Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, 13 blocks of North Michigan Ave, early on Monday morning, August 10. The aftermath of the looting resulted in 13 police officers injured, 2 people shot, multiple businesses destroyed, and over 100 arrests, according to Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed the violence in a press conference on Monday afternoon, saying “What occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple. And there cannot be any excuse for it. Period.”
City officials stated that they believe this violent incident was incited on social media on August 9, after a reported incident in which an officer from the CPD shot and wounded a 20-year-old man after he fired shots at the officer while being pursued, police reported.
The looting began shortly after midnight on August 10, as looters broke into high-end stores, and carried away arms-full of merchandise. According to the Chicago Tribune, one officer was hit with pepper spray, another officer suffered a shoulder injury, and 11 others suffered minor injuries. It took 4 hours for officers to get the violence under control, and by 4 a.m. over 100 arrests were made, 5 firearms were recovered, 2 people were shot, and the Magnificent Mile was left trashed.
As a response to this incident, the City of Chicago announced on Monday that it will restrict access to the downtown area from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the time being. The Chicago Police Department has also canceled all previously scheduled days off to maintain a heavier presence downtown for now.
“I don’t care, I do not care, whatever justification was given for this,” Mayor Lightfoot added during the press conference. “There is no justification for criminal behavior, ever. You have no right to take and destroy the property of others. Our residents deserve to be safe. Our businesses deserve to understand and enjoy safety and security of their property and their employees. Our police officers deserve to be able to do their job without have to worry about shots being fired, projectiles being thrown, and being maced.”