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BLM Organizers in Chicago Say Looting Is Ok Because It's a Form of 'Reparations' Until Police Are Abolished

08-13-2020
Yogi Dalal hugs his daughter Jigisha as his other daughter Kajal bows her head at the family store Aug. 10, 2020, after the family business was vandalized in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Yogi Dalal hugs his daughter Jigisha as his other daughter Kajal bows her head at the family store Aug. 10, 2020, after their shop was looted in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot received a warning from the Black Lives Matter organization earlier this week that the unrest that's gripped The Windy City recently won't stop until "the safety and well-being of our communities is finally prioritized."

"The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the (Chicago Police Dept) is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in," BLM said in a statement.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports about 200 BLM protesters held a rally Monday night at the South Loop police station to support all of the people arrested after a night of looting and unrest throughout the city. 

More than 400 police officers were called in to contain the violence. Police said more than 100 people were arrested on a variety of offenses, including looting. Two people were shot and 13 officers were injured in the violence that occurred Sunday night into early Monday.

"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."

"That is reparations," Atkins said. "Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance."

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As CBN News reported, police believe the rioting began after officers wounded a 20-year-old armed man during a shootout Sunday afternoon in Englewood which led to a hostile stand-off between police and residents.

Law enforcement officials said the suspect identified as Latrell Allen, fired first at officers during the confrontation. 

"This person fired shots at our officers," Police Superintendent David Brown said. "Officers returned fire and struck the individual."

Allen was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon, according to the Sun-Times. 
 
BLM organizers questioned the police account of the shooting, saying the event wasn't captured on officer's body cameras. 

"Police say a lot of things," Atkins told television station NBC5

In response, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), an independent agency that investigates police shootings, said the officers involved in the shooting didn't wear body cameras. But investigators are reviewing POD camera footage that captured "the pursuit of a man matching the description of the person sought to be in possession of a firearm," COPA said.

Police Superintendent Brown described the senseless violence as "an incident of pure criminality." 

Black Lives Matter Chicago said those involved in the rioting were actually protesting.

"Over the past few months, too many people — disproportionately Black and Brown — have lost their jobs, lost their income, lost their homes, and lost their lives as the city has done nothing and the Chicago elite have profited," the group said in a statement. "When protesters attack high-end retail stores that are owned by the wealthy and service the wealthy, that is not 'our' city and has never been meant for us."

At the demonstration Monday evening, protesters held up a large banner that read, "Our futures have been looted from us ... loot back."

 

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