Cleanup Begins Downtown After Looters Ransacked Businesses

Nancy Harty
May 31, 2020 - 5:14 pm
Residents, Business Owners Clean Up Downtown Chicago After Lootting

Nancy Harty

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicagoans came out Sunday to help with the cleanup after witnessing the destruction from protests that turned violent the night before.

The earliest volunteers arrived shortly after 6 a.m. when the citywide curfew was lifted for the day.

Don, who didn't want to share his last name, was among those sweeping up shards of glass from the Macy's on State Street. He shook his head at the broken windows and shelves.

"This is such a mess I don't even know how you tackle it all," he said.

Across the street, Miriam, who also declined to share her last name, was sweeping up glass from a broken window at a Walgreens store. She lives down the block and felt helpless watching the violence unfold the night before.

"Just felt like I need to do something," she said. 

City crews ran street sweepers and used power washers to clean up the garbage, broken glass and graffiti on buildings.

Board up crews were busy working throughout the Loop, installing plywood and removing the remnants of windows. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, you could see people walking around with brooms, dustpans and garbage bags.

Nicole Byerd, who lives in the West Loop, said she tried to buy a broom at the store but a staffer told her looters had taken all the cash registers so he couldn't ring her up.

Luis DeSanto said he was devastated by all the damage and feels "the folks that did this don't advance any sort of social cause. I really don't think that this helps bring attention to the changes that need to be made".