What Happened in Chicago Last Night? How Looting and Rioting Broke Out

Widespread rioting and looting erupted on the streets of Chicago after people clashed with police over an officer-involved shooting the previous day.

Hundreds of people were seen ransacking businesses during a period of unrest which lasted several hours across the city from late Sunday into Monday morning.

Dozens of stores were looted along the "Magnificent Mile" shopping district, as well as other areas of Chicago.

Footage appearing on social media showed officers pelted with objects and people breaking into banks by smashing windows with baseball bats.

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The violence saw the parts of the city essentially shut down, with the Chicago Transit Authority suspending all train and bus services to the downtown area at the request of public safety officials.

Several bridges have been raised to block entry into the downtown parts of the city, with Loyola University Chicago confirming it closed its Water Tower Campus to all students, faculty, and staff in the wake of the violence.

"The safety and well-being of Loyola University Chicago's community is always of paramount importance and a top priority," the university said in a statement.

At a press conference, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said the "seeds for the shameful destruction" were sown on Sunday after a suspect was shot by police in the Englewood area of the city.

In an earlier statement, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) said officers were dispatched to reports of a man with a gun at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in the 5700 block of South Racine Avenue. When police arrived at the scene, they spotted a suspect matching the description.

The suspect then fired at officers as they approached him in an alleyway. The suspect continued shot at police as he attempted to flee on foot, police said.

Police exchanged fire and struck the suspect. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center with his injuries. His condition is unknown.

There had been a stand-off between police and a crowd of people after officers shot the suspect. Brown said that following the confrontation with police, people got into cars and started looting in the downtown area of the city.

"This was not an organized protest; rather, this was an incident of pure criminality. This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city," Brown said.

CPD Deputy Chief Yolanda Talley previously told NBC Chicago that several people at the scene became angry after mistakenly believing police had shot and injured a child.

Misinformation about the suspect being 15 years old appeared on social media amid the looting across Chicago.

"Criminals took to the streets with the confidence that there will be no consequences for their actions and I refuse to let these cowardly acts hold our city hostage. CPD will not stand by while our city becomes something people fear," Brown told reporters.

Brown said police arrested more than 100 people during the disorder for a range of offenses including looting, disorderly conduct, and battery against police.

At the same conference, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot described the criminal actions which took place as "an assault on our city."

"This had nothing to do with legitimate first amendment protected expression," Lightfoot said. "What occurred downtown and surrounding communities was criminal behavior, pure and simple, and there cannot be any excuse for it. Period."

Lightfoot also assured that those who took part in the unrest and looting will be brought to justice.

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Chicago Police officers detain a man who was found inside a Best Buy store after parts of the city saw widespread looting and vandalism, on August 10, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty
What Happened in Chicago Last Night? How Looting and Rioting Broke Out | U.S.