Black Lives Matter members in Chicago held a rally on Monday to support the more than 100 individuals who were arrested after a night of unrest in the city.
Looting and vandalism reportedly began after officers shot 20-year-old Latrell Allen in the city’s Englewood neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. Allen allegedly had a gun and shot at police before they returned fire, wounding him. He now faces attempted murder charges, according to NBC Chicago.
“This person fired shots at our officers,” CPD Superintendent David Brown said on Monday. “Officers returned fire and struck the individual.”
A video posted on Facebook on Monday falsely claimed that the protest and subsequent riots were sparked by officers fatally shooting a 15-year-old boy.
“This was not an organized protest. Rather, this was an incident of pure criminality," Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters. "This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city.”
The widespread mayhem reportedly caused at least $60 million in property damage, and 13 police officers were injured.
Monday’s rally was held at the South Loop police station where those arrested for a variety of offenses are currently in custody.
“I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats,” said Ariel Atkins, a BLM organizer told NBC Chicago. “That makes sure that person has clothes.”
Atkins also seemed to justify the unrest as payback for systemic oppression.
“That is reparations,” she said. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”
BLM activists have rejected the official police narrative surrounding the shooting of Allen, pointing out that none of the officers involved had body cameras.
“Even though the Department of Justice said with the consent decree they are no longer allowed to chase people, they decided they were going to chase, and they shot this young man multiple times,” Atkins said.
Black Lives Matter Chicago called out Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a statement obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, which read, “The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the [Chicago Police Department] is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in,” the group said.
Meanwhile, Chicago police are taking preventive measures to curb the looting and keep antagonizers and agent provocateurs out of the city. Expressway exits are reportedly closed, buses and train routes have been limited and officials are putting up barriers and raising bridges downtown, according to NBC Chicago.
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