After a night of unprecedented looting and destruction in out-of-control Democrat run Chicago, city officials restricted travel by shutting down some train and bus services on Monday morning along with raising some bridges.
Officials completely shut down parts of downtown following the crime spree which tore through the infamous shopping district in the city known as the “Magnificent Mile.”
A local NBC outlet reported: “The Chicago Transit Authority shut down all train and bus service downtown “at the request of public safety officials,” the [Chicago Transit Authority] said. Buses will not run in the area bounded by Fullerton, Cermak and Ashland Avenue until further notice, the CTA said, with all train service temporarily suspended as well. The bridges over the Chicago River were lifted at around 4:30 a.m., preventing further entry into and exit from the downtown area.”
Social media exploded with videos showing hundreds of people looting stores such as Apple, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Coach, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. In some videos, gunfire can be heard.
The rioting and looting began Sunday afternoon after police chased an allegedly armed man who “turned and fired shots” at officers, Deputy Chief Delonda Tally said.
Police then returned fire, injuring the man, she said. A crowd at the scene then clashed with police, throwing objects at officers. Authorities said someone spread a false rumor that police had shot and wounded a child.
The situation quickly escalated and got out of hand. “The looting began shortly after midnight as people darted through broken store windows and doors along Michigan Avenue carrying shopping bags full of merchandise. Cars dropped off more people as the crowd grew. At least one U-Haul van was seen pulling up,” The Chicago Tribune reported.
“Just before 5 a.m., a Chicago police spokesman tweeted that shots had been fired at officers who returned fire near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street,” the local NBC outlet reported. “No officers were injured, Tom Ahern said, adding that it was not known at the time if the offenders were shot.”
The destruction throughout downtown was so bad that even Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot – who’s lack of action to this point has emboldened criminals to this level – slammed the looters and rioters who descended upon the downtown area early Monday morning, calling the overnight events “an assault on our city” and telling criminals, “We are coming for you.”
Police said more than 100 people were arrested and at least 13 officers were hurt over the course of the events.
“We are waking up in shock this morning,” Lightfoot said. “These individuals engaged in what can only be described as brazen and extensive criminal looting and destruction. And to be clear, this had nothing to do with legitimate, protected First Amendment expression.”
“We are not going to let our city be taken over by criminals and vigilantes,” the mayor later added.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown condemned rioting and looting saying, “This was not an organized protest, rather this was an incident of pure criminality. This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city.”
“Criminals took to the streets with confidence that there would be no consequences for their actions and I, for one, refuse to allow these cowardly acts to hold our city hostage,” Brown said. “CPD will not stand by as our beautiful downtown becomes someplace that people fear.”
Brown said the department is creating a “special team” of investigators tasked with scouring the hours of camera footage obtained overnight and asked any members of the public who took videos to share them with police.
In the meantime, he announced that officers would be working longer, 12-hour shifts, and “all days off” would be canceled until further notice. The city will also be restricting downtown access from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., he said.
“This is a beautiful city,” Brown continued, “and Chicago police officers will not allow this selfish criminal act to destroy what generations of hard work have built.”