Hundreds of black residents rioted in downtown Chicago from Sunday to Monday, smashing windows, looting stores and at one point exchanging gunfire with officers, authorities said. The Chicago BLM chapter justified the riot by issuing a false statement.
The looting started around midnight, with black residents targeting high-end stores. Some could be seen loading stolen items onto a rental truck or other utility vehicles before speeding away, the Chicago Tribune reported. Chicago authorities had to raise the city’s major bridges across the Chicago river in an effort to prevent looters from reaching affluent areas.
BLM Chicago issued a statement on Monday afternoon calling for police to be “abolished” because “racist armed police” shot a “young person” as he “ran away, rightfully fearing for his safety”.
“The [police] chase culminated in CPD shooting that young person, creating violence out of a situation where no one was in danger,” BLM Chicago said.
BLM issued this false statement after police had already reported that the suspect was a 20-year-old black gang member who shot a gun at them. The suspect is being charged with attempted murder.
The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot on Monday denounced the “false rumor on social media” that police officers had killed a 15-year-old black boy.
Black Lives Matter Chicago blamed Lightfoot for repeating the police version of events, 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 organisation’s statement read. “Lightfoot instead spent her time attacking ‘looters’.”
Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said this was “an incident of pure criminality” but the local BLM movement described the looting as justified. “These are reparations,” said the spokeswoman Ariel Atkins, according to the broadcaster NBC Chicago.
Atkins welcomed the “pillage [of] a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store” because that ensures “that this person has something to eat”. Atkins added: “That ensures that this person has clothes.” There is no such thing as a “bad protester” either, she said. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”
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