Chicago Police Arrest More Than 100 People After Looting Batters Downtown
By: Alex Oh
Throughout the past weeks, demonstrators have taken the streets of Chicago to protest the death of George Floyd. In some neighborhoods, the riots have led to a dramatic increase in gun violence. Now, with more people protesting than ever, the coronavirus is resurging in the city, “sickening hundreds of people a day.”
On Monday morning, hundreds of people stormed the Magnificent Mile, a famous shopping district in Chicago, to protest the police shootings. During the event, many broke windows, looted stores, and fought with the police, creating a chaotic scene that eventually forced city officials to raise bridges downtown and halt all public transit. By the end, two were shot and around 13 police officers were injured. With around 400 police officers at the scene, more than 100 people were arrested for “disorderly conduct, looting and battery.”
Despite calls for help during the chaos from some of the members of the Illinois House, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, stated that there was no need for military troops to enter the city.
Instead, the mayor expressed frustration and anger for the violence that took place in the city, immediately ordering limited access to downtown starting Monday evening.
“We are waking up in shock this morning,” Ms. Lightfoot said at a news conference. “What occurred downtown and in surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple.”
The riots have also left businesses that were already struggling from the coronavirus in even worse shape. Since the spread of the pandemic in spring, downtown Chicago has been like a ghost town without its large number of tourists. Now, many of the stores that these tourists used to visit have been vandalized, destroyed, and left in shambles. According to The New York Times, the events have left many Chicagoans “shaken.”
“These last few months have been tremendously difficult for a lot of people,” the Rev. Corey Brooks, a pastor on Chicago’s South Side, said. “People are hurting financially, emotionally and psychologically. There’s a lot of suffering going on. What happened last night sets us back even more.”