CHICAGO (CBS) — After saying on Monday that massive downtown looting was a result of anger over a police-involved shooting on the South Side, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is now saying the rampage was “a planned attack.”
“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… that wasn’t any spontaneous reaction,” Lightfoot told Time Magazine.READ MORE: IDES Kept Offices Closed While Many Struggled To Get Their Unemployment Benefits: What Really Happened Inside And Outside Those Walls
Shortly after a suspect with a long criminal history shot at police and officers returned fire, several social media posts encouraged looting in the city, Police Supt David Brown said. Brown said 400 officers were dispatched to the Loop as caravans of cars began driving into the city. CBS 2’s Chris Tye reported looters arrived with boxes of rocks and bricks to break into stores. However, police could not keep up with the speed and size of the crowds.
“What we are seeing is violence against police,” Brown said. Thirteen officers were injured in the violence overnight, including one with a broken nose. He said nine officers have been shot at in recent days. “This was an act of violence against our police officers and our city,” Brown said.
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.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Lakeshore Flood Threat Continues
“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 a widespread desctruction?
Joseph Williams was on the scene on the shooting 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.”MORE NEWS: Climate Change And Chicago's Lake Michigan Shoreline: What The Future May Hold And The Action Being Taken
However, Lightfoot in the Time interview, said that while some may have been motivated by the false rumors, there was a bigger preplanned attack in play.