The City of Chicago is deploying an additional 1,000 officers this weekend to crack down on looting after businesses were ravaged over the week.
Chicago Police Department (CPD) Supt. David Brown announced the additional backup after damage to businesses resulted in more than 100 arrests in the past week.
“This is our town; it doesn’t belong to the criminals,” Brown emphasized. He said CPD would extend officers’ hours and cancel days off.
“Don’t let these criminals run you out of this beautiful city,” Brown said, adding, “Our department, our police officers will risk their lives to protect you. Not in our town. Not in our city.
Brown warned that officers would use every method possible to stop looting.
“We are going to deploy all tactics necessary to prevent and stop looting. [That may mean] deploying spike strips to puncture your tires,” Brown said, according to Fox 32 Chicago.
Law enforcement reported widespread looting and vandalism across Chicago Monday morning. CPD spokesman Tom Ahern said that shots were fired at police, who returned fire. Ahern told the Chicago Tribune that other officers were injured throughout the night.
Hours earlier an officer shooting occurred in the city’s Englewood neighborhood. Police said they weren’t sure what sparked the looting and violence. The Chicago Transit Authority even suspended all train and bus service Monday to the downtown area at the request of public officials. All but one bridge leading to downtown were raised around 7:15 a.m.
More than 100 have been arrested and at least 42 have been charged with felonies as part of the unrest this week, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said.
The charges include 28 for burglary and looting, six for gun possession, five for aggravated battery or resisting a police officer, and one each for theft and criminal damage to property, her office said. The most serious charge tied to the looting was attempted murder.
“When people showed up on Michigan Avenue in the downtown area with U-Haul trucks and cargo vans, and sophisticated equipment used to cut metal, and the methods that were used, and how quickly it got spun up,” Lightfoot told the outlet, “that wasn’t any spontaneous reaction.”
“To be sure, there are people that did join in that were motivated by lots of different reasons, and certainly were motivated by social media posts encouraging people to come downtown,” Lightfoot said. “But the core of what happened — that’s organized criminal activity… It was a planned attack.”