By Megan Hickey

CHICAGO (CBS) – The city’s mayor and top cop blame misinformation for the tension that erupted around Sunday afternoon’s non-fatal officer-involved shooting in Englewood.

But how did the wrong information get out there?

And how did it lead to widespread coordinated looting miles away?

CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reports that many residents across the city were outraged because they believed Chicago police shot an unarmed teenage boy.
By the time the truth got out — that bad information spread like wildfire.

Surveillance cameras caught looters casually walking in and out of the Nordstrom on the Mag Mile, arms filled with stolen goods. Other city pod cams picked up looters returning to their getaway cars.

“A random Sunday night looting in the middle of Michigan Avenue is not something we’ve seen before,“ Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said.

But how did a non-fatal afternoon shooting 10 miles away in Englewood result in this?
Joseph Williams was on the scene yesterday and he said the wrong information spread quickly.

“There’s a lot of misinformation there,: said Williams, of Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club. “There wasn’t a 15 year old boy who got shot 15 times. Because of that it made the world —everyone started paying attention to that. It made people upset it made people riled up.

Between 3:47 p.m. and 6:36 p.m., the CBS 2 Investigators found example after example of people erroneously tweeting out that the victim was a 15 year old boy — and that he had been shot — according to some inaccurate tweets — as many as 15 times. And this information was then shared and retweeted by thousands of followers online.

But in reality, the shooter was 20, armed and shot at police officers, according to CPD.

“He not a juvenile, he was not unarmed,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

But Williams also says it wasn’t just the misinformation about a child victim that enraged community members. He says it was the hostile way that the community members felt like they were being treated by police on the scene.

“It went beyond the shooting with the young man,” said Williams. “It wasn’t about the shooting, it was strictly about the engagement between the police and the community and how we didn’t have representation of us out there. “

Williams says the looting is being connected to Englewood residents in particular — and he calls that unfair.

“They know the locations they know where they want to go it seems like it was all preplanned. So why are you connecting Englewood to looting and rioting?”

After the shooting, police said there were more posts on social media urging looters to head downtown. Police did not provide specific examples.

Megan Hickey