Chicago, Illinois, had its deadliest weekend of violence of 2020, with dozens shot and nearly 20 individuals killed, as police tangled with rioters and looters near downtown.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “nineteen people were killed and at least 63 others were wounded by gun violence,” most on Sunday, following more than 24 hours of protests, riots, and looting concentrated mostly in the city’s central business district, the tony neighborhoods and tourist areas located immediately north of downtown.
Of the 19 homicides, the Sun-Times says, 17 occurred on Sunday, as police officers were deployed into other areas, leaving many of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods with little oversight or law enforcement control.
Saturday, the shootings were clustered in and around downtown, some just off the city’s famed high-end retail district, the “Magnificent Mile,” amid the protests and looting.
“Six people were shot downtown, one of them fatally, amid protests Saturday in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd,” the Sun-Times reported separately, over the weekend.
Chicago, of course, saw some of the most violent and destructive protests to take place all weekend, even as cities across the country erupted in unrest following days of protests demanding justice for George Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officers last week and whose death was captured on a viral video. All four officers involved in that incident have been fired and one, the officer who appeared to cause Floyd’s death by kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder.
“Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said 699 people were arrested Sunday, primarily for looting. Superintendent Brown also said 132 Chicago police officers were injured,” Chicago’s local ABC News affiliate reported Monday. “On Sunday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city’s 911 center processed more than 65,000 calls over a 24 hour period, about 50,000 more calls than on a typical day.”
Hundreds of stores and businesses were looted over the weekend, as well. On Saturday, thieves focused on the downtown area, but on Sunday, with downtown largely closed off to travel and public transportation rerouted around Chicago’s central business district, looters focused on the city’s south and west sides and, in rare cases, hit shops and malls in the Chicago suburbs, per WGN.
Several stores on the city’s south side were looted several times over the course of the weekend.
In a press conference on Sunday, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot said that she’d requested assistance from at least three federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, in helping to investigate reports of “organized” criminal behavior and individuals traveling to Chicago from out of state to participate in riots.
On Monday, the Chicago Police Department and federal prosecutors announced that they’d arrested at least one individual on charges of crossing state lines to incite violence. Matthew Rupert, officials say, took part in riots and looting in both Minneapolis and Chicago and allegedly documented his work in public videos posted to his social media profiles.
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