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Aftermath of looting in downtown Chicago: 13 cops injured, 2 people shot, more than 100 arrests, Mag Mile trashed

Paige Fry, Jeremy Gorner, Gregory Pratt, Megan Crepeau, Stacy St. Clair and Claire Hao, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO -- Hundreds of people swept through the Magnificent Mile and other parts of downtown Chicago early Monday, smashing windows, looting stores, confronting police and at one point exchanging gunfire with officers, authorities said.

More than 100 people were arrested as of 9 a.m., according to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown. Thirteen officers were injured during the unrest, including a sergeant who was hit by a bottle. A civilian and private security guard were shot and wounded.

"What occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "And there cannot be any excuse for it. Period."

It took police officers roughly four hours to get the downtown back under control, leading to finger-pointing across the political spectrum and calls for the Illinois National Guard to once again help quell unrest in the country's third-largest city.

Downtown Alderman Brian Hopkins, who said he was on Michigan Avenue from midnight to 4 a.m., described a scene in which officers were overwhelmed by looters and apparently did not have much of a plan for restoring order. He criticized Lightfoot for failing to develop an effective strategy following looting incidents in May and June.

"The real question today is, where was the strategy? What was the decision-making at the highest levels?" Hopkins said. "That means the police superintendent and the mayor, who's a very hands-on mayor when it comes to these kinds of decisions."

 

City officials said the seeds for the violent crime spree were sown on social media Sunday afternoon following an officer involved shooting in the Englewood neighborhood. Officers shot and wounded a 20-year-old man Sunday after he fired shots at them while being chased, authorities said.

The man was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center and is expected to survive, Brown said.

The Civilian Office Police Accountability, the city agency that investigates all officer-involved shootings, released a statement confirming Brown's assertion that the wounded male is an adult. Some social media accounts that authorities say fueled the unrest referred to him as a 15-year-old boy.

More than an hour after the shooting, police and witnesses said a crowd of about 30 people faced off against officers holding a police line near 56th and Aberdeen streets. During a scuffle, one officer was hit with pepper spray and a second officer suffered a minor shoulder injury.

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