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Looting Was Coordinated Response To Police-Involved Shooting In Englewood, Brown Says

CHICAGO (CBS) -- In a coordinated response to a police shooting in Englewood on Sunday, scores of stores were looted in the city overnight, leaving widespread destruction and injuring about a dozen officers, Police Supt. David Brown said.

Shortly after a suspect with a long criminal history shot at police and officers returned fire, several social media posts encouraged looting in the city, Brown said. The suspect was wounded but is expected to survive, Brown said. That shooting led to a tense standoff with residents. There were rumors on social media that police had shot an unarmed juvenile.

Brown said 400 officers were dispatched to the Loop as caravans of cars began driving into the city. CBS 2's Chris Tye reported looters arrived with boxes of rocks and bricks to break into stores. However, police could not keep up with the speed and size of the crowds. Effective tonight access to downtown will be restricted from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice. The details of that plan are still being worked out, but residents can expect it to be modeled after the violence that erupted in late May.

"What we are seeing is violence against police," Brown said.  Thirteen officers were injured in the violence overnight, including one with a broken nose.  He said nine officers have been shot at in recent days. "This was an act of violence against our police officers and our city," Brown said.

"We are waking up in shock this morning," a visibly angry Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, adding the criminal activity was brazen. "It was abject criminal behavior, period. This was straight up felony criminal conduct.

"This was an assault on our city."

The looting and vandalism was spread all over the Loop, along the Magnificent Mile, River North and up to the Near North Side.

Brown said a special task force has been created to review surveillance video and make arrests. All days off have been canceled for police, who will be working 12-hour shifts. There will be a large police presence in the downtown area until further notice. So far, 100 people have been arrested for theft and disorderly conduct.

"We are coming for you," Lightfoot said. "This is not anywhere near acceptable."

She urged the state's attorneys office and county judges to prosecute the violators to the highest extent of the law. "Put your best people on the case," she urged. Brown said the people arrested in similar looting earlier in the summer were not met with proper legal consequences.

It was the second time this summer that violence and unrest ravaged businesses in the city.

Chicago businesses reported $66 million worth of damaged or stolen property to police during the looting and unrest after George Floyd's death in May, according to public records obtained by the CBS 2 Morning Insiders.

Those millions make up one of 1,800 police reports filed for looting or vandalism across the city. In the wake of that violence, the city promised $10 million in help businesses, and many of those owners were hit again on Monday.


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