Hundreds of people swept through the Magnificent Mile and other parts of downtown Chicago early Monday, smashing windows, looting stores and confronting police after officers shot a suspect in Englewood hours earlier.Needless to say, racist dirt-bags and senior Chicago police officials (but I repeat myself) have been quick to accuse the Mayor and the new DA of coddling "troublemakers".
The mayhem marked the second time since late May that the city’s upscale shopping district has been targeted by looters amid unrest, reigniting the debate over policing as city leaders continued to point fingers and downtown again was shut down overnight heading to Tuesday.
As businesses owners boarded up shops and braced for the possibility of additional looting, some cautioned against simplifying the situation or blaming any single issue.
“It’s not just people looting,” said Patsy Mullins, whose Gold Coast store, Accessorize, was completely emptied. “Let’s dig to the root of the problem, let’s not look at the surface. ... We need to get to the bottom of this. Otherwise, well, this problem will never be solved and it will continue again and again.”
City officials said the seeds for the crime spree were sown on social media Sunday afternoon, after officers shot and wounded a 20-year-old man who allegedly had fled and fired shots at them.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday decried “a false rumor on social media” that police officers killed a 15-year-old boy. That led residents to clash with police officers in Englewood and prompted calls to head toward downtown.
On the bright side, Chicago protesters have learned an important lesson: Hold your protests in THEIR neighborhood, not YOUR neighborhood.
“This was not an organized protest,” Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said. “Rather, this was an incident of pure criminality. This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city.”
Black Lives Matter Chicago, which protested outside a Near South Side police precinct Monday night, blasted Lightfoot for accepting the police version of events and not doing more to institute reforms. The organization suggested the man was right to flee authorities, given the department’s history of racism and abusive tactics.
“In a predictable and unfortunate move, she did not take this time to criticize her officers for shooting yet another Black man,” the organization’s statement read. “Lightfoot instead spent her time attacking ‘looters.’ The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the CPD is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in.”
Cops are not going to drop a bomb on the Magnificent Mile and let the neighborhood burn down.