A Chicago Branch of “Black Lives Matter” gathered in front of a police station on Chicago’s south side where demonstrators claimed more than 100 people were being held following arrests for looting and rioting in the city Sunday night, demanding the “protesters” be released.
The rally, which drew a few dozen protesters, was advertised as being in support of those jailed for looting a number of luxury stores and boutiques in Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district. A flyer for the demonstration claimed that those “arrested last night” were “protesting another police shooting” and were taken to jail for “taking reparations from corporations.”
We will be rallying at jail support TONIGHT! 7pm at 18th & State
We do this til we free us #DefundCPD #CPACNow pic.twitter.com/blcH7GkPHa
— BLMChicago (@BLMChi) August 10, 2020
A speaker at the rally, Ariel Atkins, who is an organizer for Chicago Black Lives Matter, defended the robbery and destruction of property again as “reparations” for oppression.
“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,” Ariel Atkins said, per NBC Chicago. “That makes sure that person has clothes.”
“That is reparations,” she continued. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”
Protesters held up banners reading, “Our Futures Have Been Looted From Us. Loot Back.”
Things are very very calm here. Police are out front with bikes, and protesters have food and a banner. #Chicago #ChicagoProtests pic.twitter.com/2XIpGaG57Y
— Tyler LaRiviere (@TylerLaRiviere) August 11, 2020
According to the Chicago Police Department, neighborhood activists may have instigated Sunday night’s unrest with a video posted to social media, begging for retaliation against Chicago police and the city of Chicago in general for what the video claimed was a police shooting of a 15-year-old unarmed boy in the city’s Englewood neighborhood — a neighborhood which has seen an incredible uptick in violence since the city lifted most of its coronavirus-related restrictions back in May.
Chicago’s Deputy Police Chief Delonda Tally told local media that those reports were completely wrong. Officers were called to the Englewood neighborhood to investigate reports of an armed man. They eventually encountered 20-year-old Latrell Allen, whom police claim shot at least six rounds at officers while fleeing from CPD on foot. An exchange of gunfire ensued, and Allen sustained a non-life-threatening injury.
Allen is recovering in a local hospital. He is facing charges of attempted murder, per NBC.
Members of the Chicago Black Lives Matter group that attended Monday night’s protest indicated that the facts of the shooting are immaterial and that looters were rightfully protesting an injustice when hundreds broke into luxury stores, local boutiques, and electronics retailers Sunday night, with one group even going so far as to use a rented truck to haul away pilfered goods.
In a statement issued Monday, Black Lives Matter targeted Lightfoot, saying that she “has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the CPD is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in.”