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Chicago Mayor Declares Lockdown for ‘Foreseen Days’ Until US City Becomes ‘Safe’ in Wake of Looting

© REUTERS / KAMIL KRZACZYNSKIChicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a science initiative event at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. July 23, 2020.
Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a science initiative event at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. July 23, 2020.  - Sputnik International
Earlier on Monday, Chicago police arrested at least 100 people in the wake of widespread overnight looting and rioting in the central US city, where over a dozen police officers were injured during clashes. Riots erupted in the early hours of Monday following a police shooting a day earlier that wounded a young man.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced during a press conference on Monday that the US city would be under lockdown for the “foreseen days” in the wake of overnight looting and rioting that took place in response to a Sunday police-involved shooting, in which a young man was injured.

“These individuals engaged in what only could be described as brazen and extensive criminal looting and destruction,” Lightfoot said during the press conference addressing the looting and vandalism. “To be clear, this had nothing to do with legitimate, protected First Amendment expression”.

The mayor said that the lockdown, declared as part of a broader community protection program that includes increasing the police presence, would continue “until we know that our neighborhoods are safe”. She pointed out that what took place overnight was not part of a legitimate political protest.

“We have activated a neighborhood protection plan, as the Superintendent [of the Chicago Police Department, David Brown] alluded to, which involves city agencies like Streets and San, CDOT, Aviation working coordination with the Chicago Police Department,” Lightfoot said. “These resources are being deployed throughout our city to protect our neighborhood. And, likewise, these measures will be in place for the foreseen days until we know that our neighborhoods are safe”.

She stressed that the looting and riots are unacceptable and have no “excuse”.

“What occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “And there cannot be any excuse for it”.

Earlier, during the same press conference, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said that at least 100 people had been detained and over a dozen police had been injured during the looting and rioting in the city.

“I want to emphasize we made 100 arrests of looters [...] along with several officers being injured, several officers being shot at,” Brown said. “A total of 13 officers were injured throughout the night, including a sergeant who was struck with a bottle.”

Earlier on Monday, a spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department said in a statement that police officers returned fire after being shot at during widespread looting and rioting that erupted in response to a Sunday night police shooting of a young man.

“Shots fired at police who returned fire. No officers injured. Unknown at this time if offenders were shot,” Deputy Director of Communications for the Chicago Police Department Tom Ahern tweeted on Monday.

Rioting and looting began on Sunday after police shot a suspect who had opened fire on officers while trying to escape arrest. Looters destroyed dozens of local stores in downtown Chicago, including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom, Macy's and Best Buy, according to local media and videos posted on social media.

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