Black Lives Matter protesters held a rally to support more than 100 looters arrested after widespread rioting, destruction and looting in Chicago caused $60 million in property damage and injured 13 police officers on Monday night.
A BLM organizer defended the looting of designer and luxury stores including Gucci, Apple and Lamborghini as “reparations” that “makes sure that person eats.“
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“That is reparations,” the BLM organizer told Fox. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”
The rally was organized by Black Lives Matter Chicago and was held at a police station in the South Loop where organizers say arrested looters are being held in custody.
“I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats,” said Ariel Atkins, a BLM organizer, according to NBC Chicago. “That makes sure that person has clothes.”
“This was not an organized protest. Rather, this was an incident of pure criminality,” Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters. “This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city.”
The Chicago Tribune reported the looters carried away “shopping bags full of merchandise” as “cars dropped off more people” and “at least one U-Haul van” was involved in the co-ordinated criminality.
Fox reports: The unrest was prompted by a social media post urging people to converge on Chicago’s business district after police shot a man on the South Side around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Officers had responded to a call about a man with a gun in the Englewood neighborhood. While being pursued by police, the man, who was on foot, “turned and fired shots” at officers before being struck himself and taken to a local hospital, Deputy Chief Delonda Tally told Fox 32 Chicago.
Latrell Allen, 20, was charged with attempted murder Monday after firing on officers, according to Chicago police. A video posted on Facebook around 6:30 p.m. falsely claimed that officers had shot and killed a 15-year-old boy.
The shooting prompted hundreds of people to descend on downtown Chicago early Monday with vandals smashing the windows of dozens of businesses and making off with merchandise, cash machines and anything else they could carry, police said.
BLM organizers criticized police reports surrounding the shooting, noting that none of the officers involved had body cameras, which investigators confirmed, according to NBC Chicago.