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Chicago adding 1,000 extra police to stop rioting downtown this weekend

Officers stand near crime scene tape after an argument erupted between police and residents at the scene of a police-involved shooting in the Englewood neighborhood on Aug. 9, 2020, in Chicago, Ill. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
August 14, 2020

Chicago Police Chief David Brown said an extra 1,000 Chicago police officers will be patrolling Chicago this upcoming weekend to protect local businesses and prevent looting in the city.

During a Thursday press conference, Brown said, “There is an increase of a 1,000 officers above what would normally be here.” Brown also said police would use spike strips to stop caravans of vehicles coming to loot stores and would employ tow trucks to impound those vehicles. He also said Chicago would work with federal partners to help track down any looters that manage to escape police arrests.

“We are going to deploy all tactics necessary to prevent and stop looting,” Brown said.

In addition to spike strips and tow trucks, Brown said CPD would also block off streets to trap caravans of looters.

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Brown’s announcement comes after mass looting last weekend in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district, in which caravans of people in cars looted stores. CPD has arrested more than 100 looters involved in the looting incidents last weekend. 13 officers were injured during those looting incidents and some involved in the looting even shot at police. The mass looting incident reportedly began after false social media claims Chicago police had shot a child on Sunday. Those social media posts called on people to form looting caravans in response to the alleged police incident.

Brown warned Thursday that the police were ready to respond if looting continued in the coming weekend.

Brown went on to say, “If you get away from us, we will work with our state and federal partners to find you and punish you.”

Brown said a CPD looting task force is already working with the FBI to “comb through hours of video footage” to track down looters that had previously escaped arrest.

Some 300 federal officers were sent Chicago to assist local law enforcement officials in July as part of the Department of Justice’s Operation Legend. The operation is a federal effort to assist state and local jurisdictions struggling with surges in violent crimes in recent months.

ABC 7 Chicago reported Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is also planning to announce additional efforts by the city to protect businesses from looting on Friday.