19.09.2020

ALEX FROM MONTREAL PERSONAL BLOG

This blog belongs to a fully trilingual person and translator/interpreter Alexandre (Alex) Nikolaev.

‘We’re coming for you’: Mayor Lightfoot’s warning to looters who ransacked Chicago in night of ‘straight-up criminality’ that saw 100 arrests and 13 cops injured – as racial tensions flare nationwide on sixth anniversary of Michael Brown’s death

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned looters who ransacked the city that they are already being hunted by police who are reviewing HD security camera footage from Monday night’s chaos which saw more than 100 arrests, attacks on 13 police officers and widespread unrest. 

The chaos began on Sunday afternoon when police responded to Englewood where there had been complaints of a man with a gun. The suspect has not been named but was described by police on Monday as a 20-year-old man with a criminal history that includes charges of burglary, child endangerment and assault and battery.

When officers arrived at the scene, he began running and opened fire on them as they pursued him. The cops returned fire, wounding him, and arrested him. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive. 

A different story spread among residents of the neighborhood who were told that the police officers had inadvertently shot a child. Crowds gathered in protest, creating a tense stand-off that lasted several hours and was described by Deputy Police Chief Yolanda Talley as ‘very hostile’.  

In response to that incident, people on social media organized for a caravan of cars to descend on the city’s downtown shopping district to loot. Police found out about the posts and within 15 minutes, were downtown but the violence had begun.  

Cars plowed through storefronts to give the crowds easy access and despite there being 400 officers dispatched to the area, the cops struggled to keep up with the crowds. 

One officer was attacked with a bottle, another had his nose broken and a group of different officers were shot at by drive-by assailants while trying to arrest other looters.  On Monday morning, police were still arresting people at a Best Buy which was among the stores that had been ransacked. Some of the city’s bridges were raised and tunnels were closed while police tried to regain control of the situation. 

Mayor Lightfoot abhorred the violence on Monday morning, calling ‘straight-up criminality’ that had nothing to do with peaceful protests. 

She warned those involved that police were already scanning HD security camera footage to identify and arrest all those involved, saying sternly at a press conference: ‘Let’s be clear. We are coming for you. We are already at work finding you.’ 

The looters organized themselves on social media and gathered in downtown Chicago after hearing the false rumor that a child had been shot in the South Side. Above, a vehicle plows through one of the stores before police had a chance to catch up to themMayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown hold a news conference Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, where they said there was 'no excuse' for the crime overnight and vowed to find those involved

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown hold a news conference Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, where they said there was ‘no excuse’ for the crime overnight and vowed to find those involved 

Chicago police officers struggle with a suspected looter in Nordstrom. Looters broke into downtown shops in the early hours of the morning

Chicago police officers struggle with a suspected looter in Nordstrom. Looters broke into downtown shops in the early hours of the morning

An alleged looter is assisted by an ambulance after being detained in the early hours of Sunday morning

An alleged looter is assisted by an ambulance after being detained in the early hours of Sunday morningChicago police officers grab a woman attempting to run from a store on Sunday night. More than 100 people were arrested

Chicago police officers grab a woman attempting to run from a store on Sunday night. More than 100 people were arrestedChicago police officers in riot gear on Sunday night as they arrested the looters. More than 400 cops were dispatched to downtown Chicago

Chicago police officers in riot gear on Sunday night as they arrested the looters. More than 400 cops were dispatched to downtown Chicago

The extraordinary violence and tension included;

  • 400 officers being sent to downtown Chicago to deal with looters who organized themselves on social media
  • 100 arrests for looting, assault and attacks on police officers 
  • Thirteen cops being injured including one who had his nose broken and another who had a bottle thrown at him 
  • A store security guard was shot defending it from looters 
  • One group of cops facing gunfire from drive-by shooters who opened fire on them as they arrested a group of looters 
  • A weekend that saw 31 shootings and 149 gun confiscations    

Lightfoot said it was disturbing that the looters targeted small businesses that are still struggling to recover from months of COVID-19 closures. 

‘This was an assault on our city. It undermines public safety and breathes a sense of insecurity among our residents. 

‘It undermines our recovery efforts – these same stores were hit previously, not just by looting but by closures related to COVID-19.

‘They are also small stores and restaurants all of which we’re in the process of recovering and getting back to work, and now this.’ 

Lightfoot warned the looters in Sunday’s chaos that they would be found and that a special task force was being put together to sift through the city’s expansive surveillance camera footage. 

‘Let’s be clear. We are coming for you. We are already at work finding you. 

‘I don’t care – I do not care – whatever justification was given for this. 

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT’S REMARKS: ‘THERE IS NO EXCUSE’

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday called the chaos 'straight up felony activity'

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday called the chaos ‘straight up felony activity’ 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned the looters in Sunday’s chaos that they would be found and that a special task force was being put together to sift through the city’s expansive surveillance camera footage. 

‘Let’s be clear. We are coming for you. We are already at work finding you. 

‘I don’t care – I do not care – whatever justification was given for this. 

‘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,’ she said. 

She pleaded with prosecutors and the courts to do their part to bring those responsible to justice once they are found and identified.

‘Our police officers deserve to be able to do their job without having to worry about shots being fired, being maced- this is not anywhere near acceptable. 

‘I call upon our state’s attorney and our courts to make sure these individuals are arrested and held accountable. 

‘Put your best people on this. We have made the case – these people need to be held accountable. 

‘We can’t continue to allow this to happen,’ she said. 

‘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,’ she said. 

She pleaded with prosecutors and the courts to do their part to bring those responsible to justice once they are found and identified.

‘Our police officers deserve to be able to do their job without having to worry about shots being fired, being maced- this is not anywhere near acceptable. 

‘I call upon our state’s attorney and our courts to make sure these individuals are arrested and held accountable. 

‘Put your best people on this. We have made the case – these people need to be held accountable. ‘We can’t continue to allow this to happen,’ she said. 

‘We woke up in shock this morning. These individuals engaged in brazen destruction. 

‘This had nothing to do with legitimate protected first amendment speech. Regardless what occurred in our downtown was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple. 

‘There cannot be any excuse for it. Period. 

‘This was not legitimate first amendment speech, not poor people engaged in petty theft to feed themselves and their families… 

‘This was straight up felony criminal conduct,’ she said.   

It was one of a handful of incidents of unrest across America that coincided with the sixth anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. 

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.

At one point, shots were fired at police and officers returned fire. Deputy police chief Talley said the situation was ‘very hostile’. 

‘Emotions were running high. They were responding to misinformation. 

‘It happened while we were processing the crime scene.

‘We were holding the line and if there had not been a crime scene there, we would have not been there,’ she said. 

At a press conference on Monday morning, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown called the night one of ‘shameful destruction’. 

There were multiple incidents of cops coming under fire throughout the night

There were multiple incidents of cops coming under fire throughout the night 

‘The seeds for the shameful destruction we saw last night were sewn [when] officers responded to calls of man with a gun. 

‘The individual quickly fled, as this person was running way, a gun was pointed a our police officers. 

‘This person fired shots at our officers. Officers returned fire. The shooter is a 20-year-old man with four previous arrests for charges including burglary, child endangerment and battery…After this shooting, a crowd gathered on the South Side.

‘Tempers flared, fueled by misinformation, as the afternoon turned into evening,’ he said. A CBD & Kratom store is seen after being looted as civil unrest and looting on Sunday night and into Monday morning

A CBD & Kratom store is seen after being looted as civil unrest and looting on Sunday night and into Monday morningA door to the Block 37 retail building is shattered Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after vandals struck overnight in Chicago's famed Loop

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 famous DuSable bridge was raised on Monday morning to try to stunt the flow of traffic in and out of the city while cops tried to regain control

 Chicago’s famous DuSable bridge was raised on Monday morning to try to stunt the flow of traffic in and out of the city while cops tried to regain controlDebris lays in front of a damaged Best Buy store after parts of the city had widespread looting and vandalism, on August 10, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois

Debris lays in front of a damaged Best Buy store after parts of the city had widespread looting and vandalism, on August 10, 2020 in Chicago, IllinoisPolice officers were still arresting people on Monday morning, hours after the looting began. It's unclear what triggered the looting; earlier in the day, residents of a South Side neighborhood gathered in protest after being told, incorrectly, that police had shot a child. They'd in fact shot a suspect who had opened fire on them and the suspect is still alive

Police officers were still arresting people on Monday morning, hours after the looting began. It’s unclear what triggered the looting; earlier in the day, residents of a South Side neighborhood gathered in protest after being told, incorrectly, that police had shot a child. They’d in fact shot a suspect who had opened fire on them and the suspect is still aliveA man is taken into custody in Chicago on Monday morning near a Best Buy that was looted on Sunday night

A man is taken into custody in Chicago on Monday morning near a Best Buy that was looted on Sunday night Cops at a Best Buy in Chicago on Monday morning, arresting people accused of looting the store, as chaos unfolded across the city

Cops at a Best Buy in Chicago on Monday morning, arresting people accused of looting the store, as chaos unfolded across the cityA woman carries two boxes away from Best Buy on Monday morning in Chicago. It's unclear if she was among community members who went to the scene to help clear it up on Monday or if she was among the thieves

A woman carries two boxes away from Best Buy on Monday morning in Chicago. It’s unclear if she was among community members who went to the scene to help clear it up on Monday or if she was among the thieves Community members clean up the area outside a looted Best Buy store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. August 10, 2020, after the violence subsided

Community members clean up the area outside a looted Best Buy store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. August 10, 2020, after the violence subsided 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

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 ChicagoEmpty display tables are seen, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, inside an Apple Store that was vandalized overnight in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago

Empty display tables are seen, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, inside an Apple Store that was vandalized overnight in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in ChicagoA Chicago Police officer inspects an Apple store that was vandalized in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. August 10, 2020

A Chicago Police officer inspects an Apple store that was vandalized in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. August 10, 2020The scene outside the Best Buy in Chicago on Monday morning after a night of violence and chaos

The scene outside the Best Buy in Chicago on Monday morning after a night of violence and chaos A broken storefront on Magnificent Mile in Chicago on Monday morning. The stores fell victim to large crowds who took the opportunity to loot as police dealt with escalating tensions elsewhere

A broken storefront on Magnificent Mile in Chicago on Monday morning. The stores fell victim to large crowds who took the opportunity to loot as police dealt with escalating tensions elsewhereStores along Magnificent Mile in Chicago were hit by a wave of looting last night with shop fronts devastated, like this City Sports store which looters tried to storm the front of, after a day of tense stand-offs between police and protesters

Stores along Magnificent Mile in Chicago were hit by a wave of looting last night with shop fronts devastated, like this City Sports store which looters tried to storm the front of, after a day of tense stand-offs between police and protesters

Small restaurants and stores also came under fire. Pictured, workers at Rossi's clean up the street outside the store on Monday morning

Small restaurants and stores also came under fire. Pictured, workers at Rossi’s clean up the street outside the store on Monday morning A CVS was also smashed and had some of its shelves ransacked on Sunday night

A CVS was also smashed and had some of its shelves ransacked on Sunday night A pedestrian hops over debris Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after a jewelry store was vandalized in Chicago's famed Loop. A store security guard was shot last night while defending the area and he is in a critical condition

A pedestrian hops over debris Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after a jewelry store was vandalized in Chicago’s famed Loop. A store security guard was shot last night while defending the area and he is in a critical conditionKajal Dalal walks through her family's food and liquor store Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after it was vandalized in downtown Chicago

Kajal Dalal walks through her family’s food and liquor store Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after it was vandalized in downtown ChicagoKajal Dalal walks through her family's food and liquor store Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after it was vandalized in downtown Chicago

Kajal Dalal walks through her family’s food and liquor store Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after it was vandalized in downtown ChicagoPeople check out of the Hotel Julian near a crime scene where a shooting took place on Michigan Ave hours after the city suffered from widespread looting and vandalism

People check out of the Hotel Julian near a crime scene where a shooting took place on Michigan Ave hours after the city suffered from widespread looting and vandalismA person exits an Old Navy store in the Chicago Loop with an armful of clothing in the early morning of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

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 Police inspect an Apple store that had windows broken after parts of the city had widespread looting and vandalism

Police inspect an Apple store that had windows broken after parts of the city had widespread looting and vandalismPolice react to hearing gunfire in the distance after parts of the city had widespread looting and vandalism

Police react to hearing gunfire in the distance after parts of the city had widespread looting and vandalismA door to the Block 37 retail building is shattered Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after vandals struck overnight in Chicago's famed Loop

A door to the Block 37 retail building is shattered Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, after vandals struck overnight in Chicago’s famed LoopPedestrians walk and jog Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, past the Block 37 retail store and clothing on the sidewalk after vandals struck overnight in Chicago's famed Loop

Pedestrians walk and jog Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, past the Block 37 retail store and clothing on the sidewalk after vandals struck overnight in Chicago’s famed LoopChicago police gather after rioting and looting occurred in the Gold Coast area of the city early in the morning of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

Chicago police gather after rioting and looting occurred in the Gold Coast area of the city early in the morning of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020Glass is shattered in the Nordstrom store after a riot occurred in the Gold Coast area of the city early in the morning of Monday

Glass is shattered in the Nordstrom store after a riot occurred in the Gold Coast area of the city early in the morning of MondayThe unrest was triggered by a false rumor in the South Side. The crowd was told cops shot a child, but police say they came under fire from a 20-year-old suspect who had been reported for having a gun. They returned fire, injured him, and he was taken to the hospital. This is the weapon they say they recovered from him+54

The unrest was triggered by a false rumor in the South Side. The crowd was told cops shot a child, but police say they came under fire from a 20-year-old suspect who had been reported for having a gun. They returned fire, injured him, and he was taken to the hospital. This is the weapon they say they recovered from him

Along the Magnificent Mile, people were seen going in and out of stores carrying shopping bags full of merchandise as well as at a bank, the Chicago Tribune reported, and as the crowd grew vehicles dropped off more people in the area.

One officer was seen slumped against a building, several arrests were made and a rock was thrown at a police vehicle, the newspaper said. Police worked early Monday to disperse the crowds.

There was a large police presence Monday morning outside an Apple store located north of Chicago´s downtown area.

 Blocks away, debris was strewn in parking lots in front of a Best Buy and a large liquor store.

Train and bus service into downtown was temporarily suspended at the request of public safety officials, the Chicago Transit Authority said on Twitter. 

Bridges over the Chicago River were lifted, preventing travel to and from the downtown area, and Illinois State Police blocked some expressway ramps into downtown. 

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