Nearly 700 Arrested Sunday In Chicago -- Mostly Looters

WBBM Newsradio Staff
June 01, 2020 - 2:32 pm
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    CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago police arrest nearly 700 people Sunday amid looting and protests across Chicago. 

    Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced that there were 699 people arrested Sunday, primarily for looting. Of those, 461 of those people were on the South and West sides.

    According to Supt. Brown, over 64 guns were recovered, and 132 officers were injured Sunday. There were 48 shootings and 17 people killed Sunday.

    "Here's an example of our strategy as it relates to the looting seen in our neighborhoods. To the untrained eye, I've heard reports of officers just standing by, watching, as people loot our businesses and our neighborhoods, primarily, as I mentioned before, on the South and West side. And that untrained eye would say, 'Why don't cops do something?' I was on the ground, in the field, and I watched these looters strategically do looting in one area only to try to flank our officers on the back and hit the target they intended. I was at police headquarters; there was a store, an electronics store on the corner, and this strategy was used by a crowd that came up to headquarters intending on destroying that facility and burning our cars. Instead, our officers sent a smaller contingent to the store to repel those looting while our line officers held backside of police headquarters for a larger crowd that wanted to get into our police headquarters.

    We saw this time and time again - looters do one thing to draw us in one direction, only for their purpose to intend to distract us from their intended target in another area. So our officers are very, very well trained...We wanted to protect our neighborhoods. The attack was primarily on the South and West sides. But they did not take the bait. They strategically arrested looters, over 699, while at the same time flanking and outsmarting these looters's intended targets. Some of the intended targets were our officers. We had an officer who had a heart attack yesterday. We had an officer who had a broken arm yesterday. Another 130 officers were injured, bruised, and broken. They get drawn into the crowd without enough officers to support them, and then they get beat and pummeled.

    "And so we strategically waited until we had enough resources to repel the crowd, rather than sending in smaller numbers of officers, who ended up getting injuring and having to be rescued by our officers. We saw this time and time and time again."

    Superintendent Brown said he wants to thank his officers.

    "They are professionals. They have been very patient," he said.

    Brown said he's heard people, who are not trained, sworn officers saying they wouldn't have had the patience that's been shown by Chicago Police officers. 

    "This is a noble profession, and those who are sworn to an oath to conduct themselves in the most professional way deserve to wear that badge. Those who don't, will be held accountable. And that is clear," he said. "So I want to thank these officers. I want to thank our partners - the National Guard, our state police, and our federal partners for all their support, along with other city services...this has been a collaborative effort to control our city in the face of these threats."

    At the press conference, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she heard people saying the city's services were not equally distributed on Sunday, or that the city chose to protect downtown, at the expense of other communities.

    "Putting aside how deeply offensive that is for me as a black woman, for the superintendent as a black man, and these other officers of high rank who grew up in these neighborhoods and communities and proudly serve them every single day, the fact of the matter is exactly the opposite was true. The strategy yesterday was to add, add more personnel and services to the neighborhoods on the South and West side. And that's what happened. The fact is that the violence that we saw and the looting that we saw spread like a wildfire," Lightfoot said.

    "Let me just share with you how I know this is to true..."

    The Mayor went on to say that on Sunday, the city's 911 center received 65,000 calls in one 24-hour period - about 50,000 more than what the city normally receives in a typical day.

    "Of course, nothing is typical about these times. And to be clear, as the day wore on, every half hour there were 1,000 calls every 30 minutes. And in some periods, in the late afternoon and evening, those calls reached over 2,000 calls per 30 minutes. All far exceeding normal call volumes. And between Friday and Sunday, there were over 10,000 calls for looting alone," Lightfoot said.

    "Be clear: we, the police department, was responding to these calls as best they could with a significant amount of additional resources on the South and the West side. The challenge was it was everywhere. Everywhere. So, if we had a police department three times the size it would have been difficult to keep up with the calls for service yesterday. Now, I know that's cold comfort, but I want to be clear that we didn't stand by and let the South and the West side burn as, unfortunately, some people are propagating. That's just not true. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, not just for law enforcement, but for all of city government, and also for all of you.

    "As we have been saying over the last couple days, we need all people of good will  - from the faith community, from community leaders, to stand up and rise with us and not allow the criminal element to overwhelm the hard work and sacrifice of so many all over this city. We cannot allow that to happen and we will not allow that to happen. We will come together, as a community, linked arm in arm, faiths joined together, to make sure that we speak with one voice; that in Chicago, we will stand strong and united together."

    Mayor Lightfoot announced that in addition to the city's public safety personnel, she will also be deploying and moving personnel from the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation, Water Department, Department of Transportation, and Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection into neighborhoods on the South and West sides to assess the damage, assist small businesses and local chambers of the commerce, "so that we can start the process now of rebuilding our key commercial corridors in our neighborhoods.

    "We will be deploying Mayor's office personnel to assist in these cleanup efforts. And I want to be absolutely clear on this: there is no way, no way, that we would ever let any neighborhood receive more resources and protection than any others. Ever. And that certainly didn't happen over the course of the weekend. What we saw last night was completely heart-wrenching for me personally, and I know for many of you that I have spoken to and heard from. The updates I received all day and night from our aldermen, from local community leaders about the attacks on local store fronts, and particularly our small, black-owned businesses was nothing short of devastating. I know that, for many of you, your life's work went into developing these businesses and commercial centers. I know that for many of you, your blood, sweat, and tears went into recruiting businesses to come support the vibrancy of your communities. And I want you to hear from me: not only do I know that, I and we will be your partner in rebuilding. We will not let our city be in shambles."

    Mayor Lightfoot and Superintendent Brown also urged residents to not take matters into their own hands to stop looters and to call police and let them handle it.

    Supt. Brown shared an experience he had Sunday while in the field.

    "While on the protest line in the field supporting my officers yesterday, there was a small group of peaceful protesters who came to express their First Amendment rights. It was very emotional," Supt Brown said. "It became emotional for me. And they said one thing that I want to share with you. This one young black female who couldn't have been more than 21-years old kept repeating to the officers standing in line, 'Say his name.' Meaning George Floyd. It was a chant that just built and built and built, 'Say his name.' She meant, 'Acknowledge Mr. Floyd's death, unjustly death. Murder. 'Say his name.' And what I'm embarrassed is I was out in the field, I was holding the line, supporting my officers, I whispered his name. When she chanted, 'Say his name,' I silently thought, 'Mr. Floyd was murdered. We saw it on live TV. And I'm part of the profession that those officers in Minneapolis painted with a broad brush.' But today, publicly, I want to say his name as a police leader of the second-largest police department in the country. Mr. George Floyd. We grieve with you and your family. We are embarrassed by the cops in Minneapolis' use of force, asphyxiating you on the streets of Minneapolis. We stand with Mr. Floyd's family.

    "But to the rioters and looters, you disgraced the name of Mr. Floyd by your actions. Hate can never drive out hate. Evil can never drive out evil. Two wrongs can never make a right. An eye for an eye leaves both of us blind. We will enforce these laws in this city. We will hold you accountable. What you've done in the cover of night will be brought to the light, and we will pursue justice," Brown said.