According to the Chicago Tribune, 13 cops have been injured and two people shot in a Monday morning scene that had hundreds of people participating in the destruction of Chicago’s downtown area. City officials say social media was used on Sunday afternoon to sow discord between authorities and the community following an officer-involved shooting.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters that more than 100 people were arrested as of 9 a.m. Monday for their involvement in what officials are calling a clash between looters and police that started late on Sunday night and continued into the early morning hours on Monday. Brown added that he was aware of several social media posts that were encouraging looting downtown overnight. Roughly 400 officers were dispatched to the area to help quell the unrest.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke out on Monday, describing the events as inexcusable. “What occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple,” Lightfoot said. “And there cannot be any excuse for it. Period.”
Lightfoot also insisted during a press conference with reporters that the looting that took place in several downtown areas has nothing to do with legitimate protected First Amendment expression. It took Chicago police officers hours to get the neighborhoods affected under control, which has led to finger-pointing among officials and politicians about the root cause of the uprising. Several people have suggested that the situation in Chicago is happening because looters were allowed to cause destruction in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death without consequence.
According to the Tribune, Brian Hopkins, Democratic alderman of Chicago representing the 2nd Ward, criticized the city’s first Black woman mayor and the police superintendent for failing to develop an effective strategy following earlier incidents.
The man shot and wounded by officers on Sunday is 20 years old. He is expected to survive. Police say he fired shots at them while being chased by authorities. Social media reported that the man was a teenager. A little more than a half hour after the chase, more violent acts ensued.