Members of Black Lives Matter held a solidarity rally on Monday night with the more than 100 individuals who were arrested after a night of looting and unrest in Chicago.
The rally was held at the South Loop police station where organizers say those individuals are currently being held in custody.
“I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats,” Ariel Atkins, a BLM organizer, said. “That makes sure that person has clothes.”
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Black Lives Matter Chicago organized the rally after overnight unrest throughout the city, with police saying that more than 100 individuals were taken into custody for a variety of offenses, including looting.
“That is reparations,” Atkins said. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”
Chicago police believe the looting began after officers shot a man in the city’s Englewood neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. Authorities say the man, identified as 20-year-old Latrell Allen, had a gun and fired at police before they returned fire, striking and wounding him.
Allen now faces attempted murder charges after the incident.
“This person fired shots at our officers,” CPD Superintendent David Brown said. “Officers returned fire and struck the individual.”
BLM organizers are criticizing the police narrative surrounding the shooting, pointing out that none of the officers involved in the shooting had body cameras.
“Police say a lot of things,” Atkins said.
Investigators confirmed the lack of body cameras Monday, and are asking the public for help in tracking down witness video of the incident.
Even still, Atkins and other organizers say that the entire incident points to deep-seeded issues that remain within the Chicago Police Department.
“Even though the Department of Justice said with the consent decree they are no longer allowed to chase people, they decided they were going to chase, and they shot this young man multiple times,” Atkins said.
As the rally continues, police are setting up barriers and raising bridges in downtown Chicago in an attempt to prevent more looting in the Central Business District. Expressway exits are also closed, according to Illinois State Police, and CTA trains and buses are running limited routes.
Chicago police say at least 13 officers were injured during confrontations between law enforcement and looters Sunday night and into Monday.