Over the last week, downtown Chicago has been struggling against the inexcusable criminal behavior of opportunistic thieves . Reported by the Chicago Tribune last Monday, hundreds looted various stores on the Magnificent Mile (a popular tourist attraction in downtown), prompting local leaders and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to re-evaluate their handling of such incidents.
“This is our town; it doesn’t belong to the criminals” remarked David Brown, the superintendent of CPD. With over 100 arrests made, 43 have been charged with various felonies ranging from attempted murder and aggravated battery against police, to burglary, looting, and resisting arrest. “When people showed up on Michigan Avenue in the downtown area with U-Haul trucks and cargo vans, and sophisticated equipment used to cut metal, and the methods that were used, and how quickly it got spun up,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot noted, “that wasn’t any spontaneous reaction.”
With the protests and criminal activity resuming over the weekend of the 15th, CPD decided to quickly ramp-up its capacity to enforce the law by deploying 1,000 additional officers. The demonstrations began again at about noon on Saturday, with the latest reports showing it resulted in 24 arrests with almost 20 injured officers. “Don’t let these criminals run you out of this beautiful city,” superintendent Brown commented, adding, “Our department, our police officers will risk their lives to protect you. Not in our town. Not in our city.”
Immediately after this effective law enforcement by CPD, the youth activist group “Increase The Peace” took to the internet issuing a statement saying, “The march was peaceful until CPD and other law enforcement agencies began an all-out assault on protesters.” In deciding to avoid condemning the heinous acts that occurred during the group’s unruly demonstrations, “Increase The Peace” instead suggested that they were unfairly victimized by the CPD.
A lead organizer of Black Lives Matter Chicago, Ariel Atkins, sided with the agitators claiming that behavior was justified because it constituted ‘reparations.’ “I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci’s or a Macy’s or a Nike because that makes sure that that person eats,” Atkins remarked at a recent rally. “That makes sure that that person has clothes. Anything they want to take, take it because these businesses have insurance. They’re going to get their money back. My people aren’t getting anything.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson tweeted last week in response to the first phase of demonstrations that the looting and violence was “humiliating, embarrassing and morally wrong.” Subsequently, Ariel Atkins fired back saying, “Jesse Jackson has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter”, adding “Jesse Jackson was not there for the creation of Black Lives Matter. Jesse Jackson can keep his opinions to himself.”
A new report asserts that those attending these so-called “peaceful protests” (as frequently labeled by left-leaning news outlets), are an interesting conglomeration of college students, out-of-work parents, and convicted felons.
For the time being it appears CPD has obtained somewhat of a grip on the demonstrations, with Mayor Lightfoot remarking on Sunday during an interview with CBS’s Face The Nation, that the conflicts were “over very fairly quickly because our police department is resolved to make sure that we protect peaceful protests.”
Dylan Shetler is a freelancing self-taught writer and Christian apologist. He owns and operates his personal blog The Onlookers Publication: onlookers.news. You can follow him on Twitter @shetler_dylan