Chicago officials raised bridges and shut down some train and bus service Monday morning after a night of rioting and looting caused widespread damage in the city’s downtown and along the Magnificent Mile shopping district.
Parts of the downtown were shut down after the night of violence, the local NBC affiliate 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.
Rioters and looters rampaged through Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district early Monday, sparked by a shooting by a police officer hours earlier that left a young man wounded.
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.
“Absolute chaos in downtown Chicago with more overnight looting and vandalism in the Loop,” tweeted Ryan Baker, an anchor for WBBM-TV. “Appears to be coordinated effort with minimal police presence.”
Mass chaos in downtown Chicago. Hundred of people looting stores. Looters broke into a bank and ripped out the atm. They are trying to break into it. This is at State and Lake. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/oKGrMHGADP
— Vi Nguyen (@ViNguyen) August 10, 2020
Others tweeted out similar videos.
— Audrina Bigos (@AudrinaBigos) August 10, 2020
— Jeanette Hudson (@JHudsontraffic) August 10, 2020
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 10, 2020
Said Baker: “Even if this chaos and looting started as ‘retaliation’ for Sunday’s officer involved shooting in Englewood, the discouraging, disrespectful, and disgusting end result is widespread, opportunistic crime.”
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 told Fox 32 Chicago. Police then fired, 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.
People were seen running out of a PNC Bank, its windows smashed, at Huron and State streets. Down the block, other stores, including a Sally Beauty Supply, had been cleaned out by vandals. Other parts of downtown, including around Grand and Wabash avenues, were littered with trash.
Crowds repeatedly tried to bash in the windows of the Omega watch store at Delaware Place and Michigan Avenue. “The watch store,” one officer said. “They’re gonna get it eventually.”
“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 affiliate reported. “No officers were injured, Tom Ahern said, adding that it was not known at the time if the offenders were shot.”
At least two officers were injured. “We do have an officer that was maced by someone in the crowd,” Tally told Fox. “We do have an officer that sustained a shoulder injury from the incident with the crowd. One of our vehicles, the windows were shattered by a brick.”