By Isi Frank Ativie, Freelance Writer
The city is suffering through another outbreak of looting that took place Sunday night, August 9, on the Magnificent Mile and in the surrounding Gold Coast area. Dozens of businesses were looted and destroyed at the hands of disgruntled residents. The looting began after a Black male victim was wounded during a police-involved shooting that occurred on the South Side in the Englewood community hours before the looting began.
The looting that began late Sunday night and continued into the early Monday morning hours reportedly resulted in two individuals being shot and 13 Chicago police officers being injured. The Chicago Police Department reported that it had arrested more than 100 people. The 20-year-old male victim wounded in the Englewood community has been identified as Latrell Allen. He was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital and is expected to recover, according to Chicago Police Chief David Brown. This is the second incidence of widespread looting in the city; the first occurred in late May after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
Reports say Sunday night’s looting was precipitated by the mis-information disseminated over social media. Various posts claimed erroneously, that a 15-year-old unarmed boy had been shot, sparking the call to “let’s loot.”
“I’m hearing the cry and the outrage that our communities have been shouting out for a very long time,” Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson stated. “You can feel and hear the anguish as well as the pain that our communities have suffered in silence.” Johnson, a father of three and former schoolteacher, explained how it’s vital for African Americans to prevent themselves from self-destructing by initiating more riots in this city. “It’s our job to treat the aggression, and love our people in a way that allows for healing to take place.”
Local Black activists are distraught about the countless police shootings that have shattered the lives of Blacks in communities across the city.
“Everybody expresses themselves in different ways; I don’t condone stealing,” Acclivus President and activist LeVon Stone Sr., said. “Whenever someone does something that can possibly get them in trouble, we’re trying to prevent that. We’re trying to educate folks on ways of staying out of the system.” Acclivus, Inc. is a community health organization, focusing on the health and well-being of individuals living in Chicago’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.