CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) — Hundreds of vandals descended on downtown Chicago early Monday following a police shooting on the city’s South Side.
They smashed the windows of dozens of businesses and made off with merchandise, cash machines and anything else they could carry.
When police shot a man after he opened fire on officers Sunday afternoon, the incident apparently prompted a social media post hours later urging vandals to converge on the business district, Police Superintendent David Brown told a news conference.
Some 400 additional officers were dispatched to the area after the department spotted the post. Over the next several hours, police made more than 100 arrests and 13 officers were injured, including one who was struck in the head with a bottle, Brown said.
As he watched workers clean up the damage in the city’s main shopping district, longtime resident Alan Freeman said the city is “getting scary” and he has stopped his evening walks and early morning jogs because of the fear of violence.
The unrest brightened the national spotlight that has been on Chicago for weeks after a surge in gun violence that resulted in more homicides in July than any month in decades.
President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the city’s handling of the violence, recently ordered more federal agents to Chicago to take part in what Attorney General William Barr called “classic crime fighting.”
Witnesses to the unrest described a scene that bore a striking resemblance to the unrest that unfolded when protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis devolved into chaos. Brown suggested that the lenient treatment of people arrested then played a role in what happened Monday.