BLM activists march in support of protesters arrested overnight in Chicago

·2 min read
AP
AP

iBlack Lives Matter (BLM) protesters marched in Chigaco in an act of solidarity with more than 100 people who were arrested during unrest and violence on Sunday night.

More than 100 individuals were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, looting, and battery against the police on Sunday night into Monday, NBC Chicago reported.

Protesters gathered at South Loop police station, where they believed that those arrested are being held in custody.

“That is reparations,” Ariel Atkins, a BLM organiser told the broadcaster. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.

“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,” she said. “That makes sure that person has clothes.”

More than 400 officers reportedly responded to the unrest, which saw 13 police officers injured, according to Chicago police.

“This was not an organised protest. Rather, this was an incident of pure criminality,“ Police Superintendent David Brown said.

The rioting reportedly began after officers shot and wounded a man, identified as 20-year-old Latrell Allen, who police alleged fired at officers.

Mr Allen has now been charged with attempted murder of police officers.

“This person fired shots at our officers,” Supt Brown said. according to NBC Chicago. “Officers returned fire and struck the individual.”

BLM organisers pointed out that none of the officers involved in the shooting had body cameras which investigators confirmed on Monday, the broadcaster reported.

“Police say a lot of things,” Ms Atkins said of the shooting.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a Democrat, condemned the violence on Monday, ordering limited access to downtown beginning on Monday evening, The New York Times reported.

“We are waking up in shock this morning,” Ms Lightfoot said at a news conference according to the newspaper. “What occurred downtown and in surrounding communities was abject criminal behaviour, pure and simple.”

BLM Chicago reportedly told the mayor on Monday that civil unrest will continue in the city until “the safety and well-being of our communities is finally prioritised”.

“The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the Chicago Police Department is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in,” the group said in a statement.

Police are said to be setting up barriers and raising bridges in downtown Chicago in an attempt to prevent more looting in the Central Business District as the rally continues.

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