The mayor of Chicago delivered a fiery diatribe against people who were seen on video looting establishments in the city’s Magnificant Mile upscale shopping area early Monday morning, describing the scene as “straight-up felony activity.” Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke in no uncertain terms while addressing the media hours later, according to a local news reporter who live-tweeted the press conference.
Lightfoot also called on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Kim Foxx, challenging her to prosecute those arrested for the looting on the same morning that the Chicago Tribune published a scathing report saying the city’s top law enforcement officer has dropped a growing number of felony cases.
Social media video showed dozens if not hundreds of people in downtown Chicago breaking into everything from a shopping mall to a car dealership. At least two people were shot, more than 100 people were arrested and at least 13 officers were injured, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
It was unclear what sparked the looting, but police in Chicago shot and wounded a Black man on Sunday afternoon, prompting an hourslong faceoff between dozens of “hostile” residents and cops, something that, according to the Chicago Tribune, police blamed on “false information” being spread in the community.
Lightfoot dismissed the notion that there was any protesting happening amid the looting and described it as “straight-up felony activity.” She asked Foxx “to hold people arrested in connection with the looting accountable” and called on the public to help bring those responsible to justice.
“We need people to step up,” Lightfoot reportedly said Monday morning. “We are not going to let our city be taken over by vigilantes.”
Lightfoot’s press conference also came after a police officer shot and wounded a Black man in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. That’s where community members confronted police after learning of the shooting that police said had been incorrectly described as injuring a child.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Monday morning alongside Lightfoot that the man police shot is 20 years old — not 15, as he said had been misreported — and fired a gun at officers.
The press release was held hours after the Chicago Tribune published an analysis of data that found Foxx has dropped nearly 30 percent of the felony cases handled by her office, including some involving murder charges. “During Foxx’s first three years as the county’s top prosecutor, her office dropped all charges against 29.9% of felony defendants, a dramatic increase over her predecessor,” the Tribune reported.
Watch Lightfoot’s full press conference by clicking here.