Chicago Black Lives Matter activists organized a rally on Monday night (Aug. 10) to stand in solidarity with the over 100 people who were arrested following widespread looting in the city’s Gold Coast area. According to police, 13 officers were also injured during Sunday night’s (Aug. 9) events.
“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,” Black Lives Matter protest organizer Ariel Atkins told NBC Chicago. “That makes sure that person has clothes.”
The rally was held near the South Loop police station and protesters demanded that those taken into custody for looting and other offenses be released.
“That is reparations,” Atkins continued. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”
Chicago police have said that the outrage was a response to the officer-involved shooting of a 20-year-old man named Latrell Allen. According to police, Allen had a gun and fired at officers. They returned fire, shot him and he is now in a stable condition and expected to survive.
“This person fired shots at our officers,” Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown said. “Officers returned fire and struck the individual.”
NBC reports that Allen is facing murder charges for allegedly firing at officers.
The Black Lives Matter activists involved in the rally have questioned why police do not have body camera footage of the incident. Investigators confirmed on Monday (Aug. 9) that the cops did not have body cameras and are now asking the public to turn over any video evidence they may have.
“Police say a lot of things,” Atkins said. “Even though the Department of Justice said with the consent decree they are no longer allowed to chase people, they decided they were going to chase, and they shot this young man multiple times.”
In a press conference on Monday (Aug. 9), Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned the looting.
Police reportedly set up barriers in response to last night’s Black Lives Matter protest and bridges have been raised throughout downtown to prevent further looting.
“We are waking up in shock this morning. This had nothing to do with protected First Amendment expression,” she said. “This was abject criminal behavior… This is straight up felony criminal conduct.”