Chicago Police

Chicago City Council Holds Special Meeting Over Looting, Violence

Chicago City Council held a special meeting on Friday, days after four alderman called for such a meeting to ask the governor to declare a state of emergency over recent violence and looting - a proposal the mayor previously said was "grandstanding" before apparently reversing course.

Four Chicago aldermen on Wednesday called for a special meeting of the City Council to consider a resolution asking Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to declare a state of emergency and deploy the Illinois National Guard to the city over recent unrest.

Alds. Leslie Hairston, Anthony Beale, Raymond Lopez and Anthony Napolitano issued the call in a letter to Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia.

The letter called for a special meeting of the Chicago City Council at 10 a.m. on Friday to take up a resolution calling for the state of emergency and to hear from city and Cook County officials on efforts to address "the rioting, looting, destruction, and most importantly, the safety of all Chicagoans."

In the resolution, the group of aldermen say Chicago "has never seen more violence, unrest and organized looting," alleging residents and visitors are "afraid to travel" throughout the city.

"Businesses across our City have been subject to unyielding criminals, many on the brink of failure contemplating their future in Chicago," the resolution reads, going on to say, "The continued attacks against Chicago's collective safety will impact our residential real estate, current and future investments in our communities, and our City's future economic development."

The resolution calls on Pritzker to declare a state of emergency and deploy the Illinois National Guard to Chicago to assist the Chicago Police Department for no less than four months.

Their call and the meeting itself came more than a week after chaos and looting erupted in the city's downtown on Aug. 10, resulting in more than 100 arrests and leaving more than a dozen officers injured as groups broke into stores and stole merchandise in several neighborhoods, according to police.

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said Thursday that her office had approved 42 of 43 felony cases brought by police. Most of the cases centered on charges of burglary and looting, but others included attempted murder, aggravated battery and resisting a police officer, theft, criminal damage to property and gun possession, Foxx said.

When asked about the four aldermen calling for the special meeting on Wednesday, Lightfoot said members of the group were "trying to seek media attention."

Two of the four "unfortunately have a history of grandstanding," Lightfoot said at an unrelated news conference, declining to say which aldermen she meant. "They don't listen, they don't ask questions and they're not really committed to answers."

"We need to make sure we are working together to find common ground," she continued, adding, "This isn't the way you get things done."

"It's quite foolish and it's unfortunate that they are grandstanding again on an issue that's so important," Lightfoot said.

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