Chicago officials will restrict access to the city’s downtown beginning Monday night after looting and clashes with police that saw 13 cops injured and 100 people arrested.
Police Superintendent David Brown said access to the heart of the Windy City will be limited between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., while a heavy police presence will be seen in the downtown area, with cops working 12-hour shifts “until further notice,” WMAQ-TV reported.
The moves are part of “a multi-layered plan” announced Monday by Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the wake of Sunday’s violence.
“This was not an organized protest,” Brown said at a press briefing. “Rather, this was an incident of pure criminality. This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city.”
“Criminals took to the streets with confidence that there would be no consequences for their actions,” he said, “and I for one refuse to allow these cowardly acts to hold our city hostage.”
Brown said 400 cops were dispatched to the area Sunday following social media calls for widespread looting downtown, where a large crowd had gathered on Michigan Avenue. In one encounter, police shot and wounded a 20-year-old alleged looter who fired at the officers.
The violence reached a fever pitch when rumors were spread through the crowd that cops had instead shot an unarmed child.
The looting, which began inside the city’s Loop, later spread to other neighborhoods, WMAQ reported.
“Our police put themselves at great risk last night,” Lightfoot said at a press conference Monday. “Literally, they were being fired upon as they were working to stop the looters. That can’t be a circumstance that goes unchecked.”
“We’ve got to make sure that if the evidence supports it, these individuals are fully held accountable, and that work is ongoing to identify other suspects.”
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