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Chicago looting: Mayor Lori Lightfoot tells looters 'we are coming for you,' but won't bring in National Guard

ABC 7 Chicago logo ABC 7 Chicago 8/11/2020 ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team

The mayor and the police superintendent are blaming the courts and criminal justice system for the embolden criminals who took part in looting across Chicago.

Both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPD Superintendent David Brown say what happened overnight was unacceptable and appears to have been coordinated on social media after a police-involved shooting in Englewood Sunday.

WATCH: Mayor Lightfoot, CPD Supt. Brown address overnight looting in Chicago

Police were responding to a man with a gun in the 5700 block of South Racine Avenue Sunday afternoon when the suspect began shooting at police as he tried to get away, officials say. Police then returned fire, wounding the 20-year-old man, according to Brown.

Following the officer-involved shooting, an angry crowd quickly gathered at the scene.

Social media posts based on misinformation fueled calls for downtown looting, according to the superintendent. Caravans of people then descended on the downtown area, ransacking businesses along the Magnificent Mile, State Street and parts of the Gold Coast neighborhood, South Loop and Near North Sides.

WATCH: Stores looted, damaged overnight in downtown Chicago

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Looting and property damage has been reported throughout downtown Chicago overnight, with property damage reported along Michigan Avenue and in the Loop and Gold Coast areas.

"I was out there for four hours on Michigan Avenue between roughly midnight and 4 a.m. I saw more incidents of criminal activity and looting that I could count," said 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins.

More than 400 officers were deployed to the downtown area, but it wasn't enough.

The day's events lead to a lot of finger-pointing.

The superintendent and mayor suggested the criminal justice system failed the last time there was looting two months ago.

"Criminals took to the streets with the confidence that there would be no consequences for their actions," Brown said.

WATCH: Looters break into State Street Potbelly restaurant

However, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx held a separate press conference, firing back at those allegations.

"The notion that people believe that they are somehow empowered because people weren't prosecuted for looting back in the wake of the unrest beginning is simply not true. Those cases are coming to court now, as we are now in the month of August," she said.

RELATED: Kim Foxx defends response to Chicago looting, says offenders will be brought to justice

Alderman Hopkins took a different take, saying the mayor and police are to blame for not being prepared after getting intelligence about what was going to happen.

"They waited for this to get out of control before they started bringing in police officers from all the neighboring districts, and by then it was too late," he said.

"Alderman Hopkins has a pension for letting his mouth run before he actually gets the facts. I don't think there's any reason for me to say anything further," the mayor rebutted. "Our police department got the intelligence [and] acted on it quickly brought.... what we need now is not Monday morning quarterbacks and sideline critics."

Witnesses described the vandalism as a "coordinated effort" with multiple cars dropping off groups of people, who then smash-and-grab merchandise in the store, and take off running in opposite directions before police could respond.

"There was no plan for the type of massive outbreak of light scale criminal activity that we saw, which allowed everything to descend into chaos," Ald. Hopkins said. "Once we lost control of the streets, it was almost impossible to get it back."

WATCH: ATM stolen, left in downtown Chicago street

As a result, the city will temporarily restrict access to downtown Monday into Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., city officials said. They added that the restricted access is not a curfew. All residents, essential workers and employees whose businesses are located downtown will have access at all times.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday that Chicago police will work with other city agencies to enforce the restrictions and make sure looting doesn't extend to other neighborhoods, but does not plan to bring in the National Guard. .

"To our residents, I want to make sure we're doing everything we can to restore your homes and businesses," Lightfoot said. "And to those who engage in that criminal behavior, let's be clear, we are coming for you."

As part of the restricted access, the following measures will be in place until further notice:

Lake Shore Drive will be closed between:

Fullerton Avenue on the North and I-55 on the South

Downtown Bridges:

All Bridges will be up by 8 p.m. with the exception of the following:

  • LaSalle Street
  • Harrison Street
  • Ida B. Wells / Congress Bridge (West Bound Open Only)
  • Lake Shore Drive
  • Columbus Avenue
  • Kinzie Street
  • Grand Avenue
  • Access Points for residents and employees of area businesses:

  • Harrison Street
  • Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street
  • Roosevelt Road and Canal Street
  • Kinzie Street and Halsted Street
  • LaSalle Street
  • Expressway Closures:

    All Ramps from Roosevelt Road to Division Street will be closed in both directions.


    Rail Service will be impacted at the following locations, with trains not entering the area surrounding downtown: Fullerton Avenue to 47th and east of Halsted Street

    Bus Service will remain open at this time. Some buses will see reroutes due to bridge and street closures.


    Divvy Service will not be available from North Avenue to Ashland Avenue and Cermak Road between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m

    Access points are designated for residents, essential workers and employees whose businesses are located within the designated boundaries, individuals who reside in the surrounding area and residents engaged in essential activities.

    Entrance into the perimeter will be manned by officers with the Chicago Police Department. When arriving at the access points, residents and employees should show identification or proof that they live in the area and/or work in the area.


    Two people were shot in separate instances and 13 officers have been injured in the midst of the looting, police said.

    A security guard was wounded in a shooting shortly before 4 a.m. in the 400 block of North Clark Street, according to Chicago Fire Department officials. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

    A second man was shot around 2 a.m. near Madison Street and Wabash Avenue, fire officials said. He was also taken to Northwestern in critical condition.

    Gunshots were heard by ABC7's Jessica D'Onofrio live on air near State and Lake early Monday morning as police responded to widespread looting and property damage.

    WATCH: Gunshots heard during live report on looting

    Chicago police confirmed an officer exchanged gunfire with a suspect near Michigan Avenue and Lake Street.

    According to police, officers were arresting a suspected looter when a vehicle traveling southbound on Michigan Avenue stopped at Lake Street and fired "several rounds" at the officers.

    No officers were injured in the shooting, police said.

    Police did return fire but it's unclear if anyone from the vehicle was hit, CPD spokesperson Tom Aherney confirmed in a tweet.

    COPA is investigating the shooting.

    WATCH: Apple Store looted, vandalized in Lincoln Park

    Another group of looters vandalized the Apple Store in Lincoln Park on the city's Norht Side, police said.

    Looters were able to knock down the glass door to the storefront located at Halsted Street and Clybourn Avenue and get inside, police said.

    It was unclear what merchandise the looters were able to make it out with, police said.

    Police said they believe the vandalism at the Apple Store was coordinated at the same time as the vandalism at a nearby Best Buy and in the downtown area.

    WATCH: Best Buy looted near North, Clybourn in Chicago

    Several South Loop businesses also sustained damage amid the unrest.

    More than 100 people have been arrested, according to law enforcement.

    The CTA suspended bus and train service downtown for several hours but started to resume service just before 8:00 a.m.

    Pace has suspended routes 755, 850, 851 and 855 into the Loop until further notice.

    RELATED: Bridges lowered, CTA services resume downtown after city officials limit access to Loop

    City officials temporarily raised all downtown bridges and closed highway exits to the Loop while police worked to assess the damage.

    Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.


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