NOTE: The 6:32 p.m. press conference will be streamed live in the player above
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to address the city Tuesday evening after an afternoon of protests and just hours before the city enters phase three of its reopening plan.
The mayor is scheduled to hold a state of the city address at 6:30 p.m. from her ceremonial office. The speech will be streamed live in the player above and broadcast live in an NBC 5 Special Report.
The mayor's office said the speech will aim to "contextualize events that have happened in recent days."
The mayor announced earlier Tuesday that Chicago will enter the third phase of its reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday as planned even after protests, looting, vandalism and violence gripped the city for four consecutive days.
"After a lot of consultation and yes, a lot of prayer: we will reopen tomorrow and take this important next step as planned," she said at a news conference Tuesday, saying she had consulted with many business owners who told her they wanted to move forward.
Meanwhile, hundreds marched on Chicago's North Side in a demonstration that stretched for blocks near the city's Wrigley Field.
Tuesday marked a fifth day of protests in Chicago calling for justice after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd earlier in the week in an incident captured on cellphone video. Thousands of protesters joined demonstrations across the city, despite a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people, meant to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
It remained unclear Tuesday afternoon if a curfew would continue in the city and if safety measures would repeat for another evening.
Chicago officials had put some measures in place Monday night in an effort to curtail the unrest of the days before: closing streets into the city's Loop, shutting down CTA service, enforcing a curfew and more.
The night's unrest was again not limited to the city alone, but spread out to area suburbs, many of which instituted curfews, closed roads and warned residents to stay home.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation Monday for several counties to help with recovery efforts following looting, vandalism and unrest over the weekend. The proclamation covers Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Madison, Macon, Sangamon and Will counties, Pritzker announced.
Lightfoot has repeatedly denounced any looting or vandalism that took place over the weekend.
"It's completely heart wrenching to me personally. And I know to many of you who I've spoken to and heard from, updates that I received all day and night, from our aldermen, from local community leaders, about the attacks on local storefronts, and in particular our small, black-owned businesses, was nothing short of devastating," Lightfoot said at a news conference.
"I know that for many of you, your life's work went into developing these businesses and commercial centers," she continued. "I know that for many of you, your blood, sweat and tears went into recruiting businesses to come support the vibrancy of your communities. And I want you to hear from me. Not only do I know that I and we will be your partner in rebuilding, we will not let our city be in shambles."
She had previously alleged that the destruction and theft was planned.
“There's no question that both the people who were fighting who brought the weapons that was absolutely organized and choreographed,” Lightfoot said Sunday in reference to attendees bringing shovels, hammers and other objects to the protests.
“It seems also clear that the fires that were set both the vehicles and buildings- that that was organized. That wasn’t opportunistic.”
Lightfoot said the city is working with the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the ATF’s Bomb and Arson unit to find out who’s responsible.
The unrest in Chicago and many other cities unfolded after protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday, which was captured on cellphone video. It led to the firing Tuesday of the four police officers who were arresting Floyd for suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill and to third-degree murder and manslaughter charges being filed Friday against the officer who used his knee to pin Floyd down for more than eight minutes, even as Floyd pleaded for air and went limp.