Chicago officials announced Monday morning that police would be placed on high alert, with 12-hour shifts and expanded patrols throughout the city after the Magnificent Mile downtown was attacked by organized looters overnight.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot stopped short, however, of calling for the National Guard, which had been used to protect the downtown area after an initial wave of riots in late May. There was no mention of federal law enforcement, either.
(Update: At a subsequent press conference, Lightfoot, standing alongside Governor J.B. Pritzker, said that “both of us believe this is not an incident that requires the National Guard. … We do not need federal troops in Chicago. Period. Full stop.” She added that President Donald Trump should help by enacting “common-sense gun control.” If Trump wanted to help, she said, he should not “rattle the saber” but rather enact gun control, which she said would provide “real safety.”)
Superintendent David Brown told journalists at a press conference (carried live on the Facebook page of local ABC affiliate WLS-7 TV) that the looting was triggered by a shooting on the South Side of Chicago, when a 20-year-old suspect who was fleeing police fired at officers in pursuit. After officers returned fire and injured the suspect, who was hospitalized and is expected to survive, a crowd gathered.
“Tempers flared, fueled by misinformation as the afternoon led into evening,” Brown said, and posts on social media called for downtown Chicago to be looted.”
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) August 10, 2020
Other neighborhoods in the city were also looted, according to police and local news reports:
Though police mobilized in response, they were overwhelmed by “car caravans” that coordinated the looting. Police made 100 arrests and 13 officers were injured. Shots were fired at police, and a civilian and private security guard were hit by gunfire.