CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police Supt. David Brown on Thursday evening warned anyone who might try to loot or cause unrest this weekend will not get away with it.
“We want to send a message,” Brown said outside the Chicago Water Tower on Michigan Avenue Thursday evening. “If you come downtown or to anyone of our retail corridors to loot, CPD is doing to arrest you. If someone is attempting to break a window to loot, CPD is going to arrest you. If you’re going in and out of stores in an attempt to loot, CPD is going to arrest you. If you are carrying or transporting merchandise from a store that has been looted, you will be stopped and arrested.”
Brown said police will deploy all tactics necessary to prevent and stop looting – such as deploying spike strips to puncture the tires of vehicle caravanning to an area to the purpose of looting. Two trucks could also be deployed to impound cars, and caravans of looters may be boxed in.
Brown also noted that the Chicago Police Department has set up a Looting Task Force and is working with the FBI to bring looters and criminals to justice – after a rash of looting early this past Monday morning in the Loop, the Gold Coast, Streeterville, the Magnificent Mile, River North, and the area around North and Sheffield avenues, among other areas.
A website for the task force was launched on Wednesday, and images were uploaded to it on Thursday afternoon, Brown said.
Police released photos and video of several looting suspects on both Wednesday and Thursday. Anyone who can identify them is asked to go to the task force website or call Area Three detectives at (312) 744-8263.
“Criminals are working with impunity in this city to loot, to vandalize, and to attack our police officers who work around the clock to protect this city,” Brown said.
Brown said looting will not be tolerated downtown or anywhere else, and looters cannot be let of jail without any consequences – adding that he is assured that state and federal prosecutors agree.
“Residents of Chicago, this is our town. This is our city. And at the Chicago Police Department, we’re committed to protecting this town for you, and not letting looters do whatever they want in our city without being held accountable. You will be held accountable,” Brown said. “Chicago strong. Chicago strong. This is our town. Ours. Not criminals’. Not gangsters’. Not thieves’. This is not their town. This is our town and we’re committed to protecting it.”