CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said the looting that overtook downtown and the Magnificent Mile early Monday morning was purely criminal and had nothing to do with any sort of peaceful protest.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot on Monday got reaction from community activists, about what we saw overnight.
The activists said they in no way condone the looting overnight and into this afternoon. They say what we saw has to do with survival, on many levels.
The looting happened on a massive scale, from the South Loop to the Near North Side.
“It is no surprise to me what is happening,” said the Rev. Robin Hood.
Hood is the programs manager for North Lawndale-based Mothers Opposed to Violence Everywhere. He said such scenes are linked to lack of funding for education and incarcerating a generation of fathers.
Le Mignot: “You mean funding for programs for young people. You mean jobs in particular and jobs for those formerly incarcerated, so they don’t go back to that way of life. Is that what you’re talking about?”
Hood: “That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You need jobs for the formerly incarcerated. You’ve got about 1,000 people coming home every month to communities that don’t have jobs for them.”
Robert Torres is the President of Parents for Peace and Justice, based on the Northwest Side.
“We need to do better as a city,” Torres said. “There’s got to be accountability with our leaders and it starts with them.”
Torres said the action to end scenes like what happened early Monday starts at the top.
“The weight has got to come on the mayor of our city. There’s got to be some weight on her to come together, sit at the table with a lot of organizations that are willing to do stuff, right?” he said. “Once again, it’s not what we do separately, but what we do together that’s important.”
Torres said the city did a great job of identifying communities in need of resources because of COVID-19. He says the same needs to be done, by providing resources to what he calls Chicago’s neglected communities.
Once again, both Torres and Hood called the looting unacceptable said and theft is not the answer.