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Chicago man charged with attempted murder in shooting that police say sparked looting

Police check a drug store for looters on Division Street in the Wicker Park neighborhood early Monday, June 1, 2020. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Chicago police arrested and charged a man with attempted murder after they say he shot at officers in an incident that prompted looting downtown.

Englewood resident Latrell Allen, 20, was charged with two felony counts of attempted murder in the first degree and one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon, Chicago police said Monday. He was arrested Sunday afternoon after police say he fled and fired multiple rounds at officers who were responding to a call of a person with a gun.

Officers returned fire and hit Allen, who was in stable condition, police said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and three officers involved also were taken to a hospital for observation, police said.

The officers, who are part of a newly created Community Safety Team, were not wearing body cameras, Chicago’s civilian police oversight agency said. The agency was investigating the incident and searching for any additional video or witnesses.

Activists with Black Lives Matter Chicago cast doubt on the police narrative of the incident in a statement Monday, saying Allen “ran away, rightfully fearing for his safety in this dangerous interaction with racist armed police.”

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Chicago police “claims the victim shot first and that they found a gun on the scene. These details are uncorroborated, partially because CPD also claims there is no body camera footage available for this interaction,” the group said. “This is a clear violation of state law and CPD policy and another example of police showing a lack of transparency.”

After the shooting, a crowd gathered in the South Side neighborhood and faced off with police after someone reportedly told people that police had shot and wounded a child, said David Brown, Chicago Police Department superintendent, at a news conference Monday. That crowd eventually dispersed.

“Tempers flared, fueled by misinformation as the afternoon turned into evening,” Brown said.

Later that night, hundreds smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city’s downtown. Approximately 100 people were arrested and 13 officers were injured, police said.

About 400 officers were dispatched to the downtown area after seeing posts on social media that Brown said were prompted by the shooting and encouraged a “caravan” of cars to engage in looting.

At least one security guard and a civilian were hospitalized in critical condition after being shot, Brown said.

Chicago raised some of its bridges and restricted access to parts of the city’s downtown Monday night. About 200 protesters gathered Monday evening outside a police station and continued to raise questions about why the officers had not been wearing body cameras. One sign at the protest read, “Our futures have been looted from us . . . loot back.”

The downtown area reopened Tuesday morning. Another protest condemning the police shooting of Allen was planned at a police headquarters for Tuesday evening.

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© 2020 USA Today