Members of Black Lives Matter Chicago held a solidarity rally Monday night in support of the 100 individuals who were arrested for looting and other crimes, with one organizer calling the looting “reparations.”
“I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike, because that makes sure that that person eats. That makes sure that that person has clothes,” Black Lives Matter organizer Ariel Atkins said.
“That is reparations. Anything they want to take, take it because these businesses have insurance.”
The rally was held outside the South Loop police station where many of the 100 people who were arrested during a night of unrest for a variety of offenses, including looting, were being held, WMAQ-TV reported.
Police Superintendent David Brown said the looting began after police exchanged gunfire Sunday with a 20-year-old man who now faces attempted murder charges.
“This person fired shots at our officers,” Brown said. “Officers returned fire and struck the individual.”
Black Lives Matter organizers criticized the officers for not wearing body cameras, saying that there are still issues within the Chicago Police Department.
“Even though the [Department of Justice] said with the consent decree that they are no longer allowed to chase people, they decided that they were going to chase and shoot this young man multiple times,” Atkins said.
Chicago police were setting up barriers and raising bridges in the downtown area to try and prevent more looting in the Central Business District.
Many people have criticized the looting, with Brown calling the violence “an incident of pure criminality,” according to CNN.
Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the looting “deeply painful” and said the violence was not an instance of people exercising their right to peaceably assemble.
“You have no right to take and destroy the property of others,” she said.
“We will not let our city be taken over by criminals and vigilantes, no matter who they are and what they’re doing.”
Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. tweeted, “This act of pillaging, robbing & looting in Chicago was humiliating, embarrassing &morally wrong.
This act of pillaging, robbing & looting in Chicago was humiliating, embarrassing &morally wrong. It must not be associated with our quest for social justice and equality. #DrKing, #MedgarEvers & #JohnLewis, our martyrs, cry together in shame. #StopTheViolence #SaveTheChildren pic.twitter.com/UxTJYVq51l
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) August 10, 2020
“It must not be associated with our quest for social justice and equality,” he wrote, adding, “#DrKing, #MedgarEvers & #JohnLewis, our martyrs, cry together in shame.”
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