Chicago Police

What Police Believe Led to Night of Looting, Unrest in Chicago

Police say social media posts encouraged looting following a police-involved shooting

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Social media posts that followed a police-involved shooting in Chicago encouraged looting as "tempers flared, fueled by misinformation," Police Supt. David Brown said after an evening of unrest led to more than 100 arrests and left downtown businesses damaged for a second time this summer.

Police said the shooting took place in the 5700 block of South Racine Sunday afternoon as officers responded to a call of a man with a gun. Brown said the officers were attempting to interview a suspect when the person fled and ultimately pointed a gun at officers and opened fire.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot discusses overnight chaos that erupted downtown early Monday and resulted in more than 100 arrests and left 13 officers injured.

Officers returned fire and the man was wounded but is expected to survive, police said, adding that a weapon was recovered from the scene.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said despite social media reports that the person shot was a juvenile, the suspect wounded was actually a 20-year-old man.

"This was not an unarmed juvenile as unfortunately is being propagated on social media," she said.

A crowd gathered following the shooting and "tempers flared fueled by misinformation as the afternoon turned into evening," Brown said.

CPD Deputy Chief Yolanda Talley said Sunday evening the emotional response came from "one agitator being on the scene, getting people all worked up without having the full story."

According to police officials, one officer was maced by someone in the crowd, and another suffered an injured shoulder. Additionally, someone threw a brick at a CPD cruiser, shattering its windows.

At a news conference Sunday night, Talley encouraged people to "take a step back" and listen to officers, adding that officers will listen to the community too.

Chaos erupted in downtown Chicago early Monday, with widespread looting at countless businesses, property damage, as well as shots fired both at and by police.

"We want to hear what they have to say..." she said. "Right now, in this climate, everyone is feeling a certain way about the police, and it's really unfair to us. It really is."

Later that evening, as the crowd dissipated, "CPD became aware of several social media posts encouraging looting downtown," Brown said.

As a result, 400 officers were dispatched to downtown Chicago as "car caravans" headed to the Loop.

"This was an incident of pure criminality," Brown said.

More than 100 arrests were made for looting and disorderly conduct and 13 officers were injured.

Chaos erupted as countless businesses were damaged and shots were fired both at and by police.

It appeared as though the looting initially began in the city's Loop, but spread to multiple Chicago neighborhoods in the overnight hours, with reports of businesses struck in River North, Streeterville, Lincoln Park, the Gold Coast and the South Loop as well.

Looters swarmed a Walgreens store and Portillo’s in Chicago’s River North neighborhood early Monday.

Many stores that were hit were the same businesses, both large and small, that were damaged in looting and unrest that unfolded in wake of George Floyd's killing by police in Minneapolis earlier this summer.

"To those who engaged in this: we are coming for you," Lightfoot said Monday.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, Chicago's police oversight agency, is leading an investigation into the police-involved shooting.

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