Chicago police, in an effort to catch looters and rioters who escaped justice back in May (and, in some cases, again in August) have released a surveillance video showing a group of individuals ransacking a store on the city’s west side.
The video, which was shot over the course of 25 minutes, shows a group of looters crowding into what appears to be a retail store for cell phone equipment, jostling shoulder to shoulder to pull merchandise off the shelves, break display cases, and abscond with thousands of dollars in communications equipment.
The store was looted back in May, in an initial round of riots that targeted stores in the city’s downtown and on the city’s south and west sides. Those incidents, which closely followed protests demanding justice for George Floyd, a black man who died while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, went on for nearly a week before Chicago police — and several roving bands of private citizens — were able to get the unrest under control.
The second round of looting in August targeted the city’s “Magnificent Mile” shopping district, ostensibly in response to a police-involved shooting in the city’s Englewood neighborhood, though looters arrested during the melee, as The Daily Wire reported at the time, said they were unaware of the connection. Activists, connected to Chicago’s official Black Lives Matter organization later defended the looting as “reparations,” per a Daily Wire report.
In this case, police say they’re looking for the public’s assistance in identifying the looters, whose faces are clearly visible in the surveillance video.
“The aftermath of the looting spree saw the store looking like a shell of itself. The floor was littered with items and packaging as well as shattered cases that previously had protected the store’s merchandise. Walls that held up goods and electronics were stripped bare, with only a few items remaining,” Fox News reported. “Police said they’re seeking the public’s help in identifying those involved. They released still photos of 23 people suspected of committing a burglary during the incident.”
Chicago police have been regularly releasing surveillance video of looters and rioters and the effort has resulted in several arrests. Seven people were arrested and several thousand dollars worth of stolen merchandise was recovered following the release of surveillance video taken from a jewelry store during August’s melee, according to ABC 7 Chicago, and another looter was arrested after CPD released a video, filmed by the alleged perpetrator for social media, showing the woman looting an electronics store while yelling “I can’t breathe!” an apparent reference to Floyd’s death.
The two looting sprees cost the city of Chicago nearly $100 million, putting the city in “catastrophic” financial straits, according to mayor Lori Lightfoot, who suggested Monday that the city may need to raise property taxes to offset the cost of rebuilding the city following riots and the coronavirus pandemic.