Chicago police superintendent: Looting was 'fueled by misinformation'

“The seeds for the shameful destruction we saw last night were sown in the 5700 block of South Racine Avenue,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said today.

Earlier today Allahpundit wrote about the looting that took place in Chicago last night. There were reports that it was inspired by a police shooting that took place earlier in the day, however those reports didn’t seem definitive. But Superintendent Brown confirmed them. He explained that a 20-year-old man had fired at police while running away. Police fired back and struck the shooter. He is now in the hospital and is expected to survive.

“After the shooting a crowd gathered on the south side following the police action. Tempers flared, fueled by misinformation as the afternoon turned to evening,” Brown said. He continued, “DPT became aware of several social media posts encouraging looting downtown.” In response, 400 officers were sent downtown and got there as the first looting began.

“This was an incident of pure criminality,” Brown said. He pointed out that 100 people were arrested and 13 officers were injured overnight. “In the last seven days a total of nine officers have been shot at in Chicago. What we are seeing is violence against police.” He described an incident last night when police officers attempting to arrest a looter were shot at by another car driving by. A bullet was found lodged inside the police car.

After Brown spoke, Mayor Lightfoot took a tough stance and vowed to protect the businesses which had been looted. To the looters she said, “We are coming for you.”

Mayor Lightfoot was clearly angry and visibly shaking at times during her speech. She said, “I call upon our State’s Attorney and our courts to make sure that these individuals who are arrested and those to come are held accountable.” She added,” These people need to be held accountable and not cycle through the system. And judges that are holding these cases, you need to step up and be responsible.”

After the speeches there was a Q&A and Sup. Brown was asked about his statement that people had been looting without fear of consequences. He replied “They based that on what happened previously, that we made a lot of arrests during May and June and not many of those cases were prosecuted to the fullest extent.” Brown continued, “And I think that’s my point and the mayor’s point: We have to have consequences for the arrests that Chicago police officers make through great threat to their own safety. They’re being shot at to make these arrests. And these looters, these thieves, these criminals they are being emboldened by no consequences in the criminal system. They get released. Many charges get dropped.”

A reporter restated what Brown had said “the courts and the prosecutors were not doing their job” and Chief Brown replied, “Don’t take it from me. Just go by what’s been done…There were no consequences for the people that were arrested.”

At this point Mayor Lightfoot stepped in and said to the reporter “Don’t bait us.” You can watch for yourself but it doesn’t sound to me like the reporter was baiting anyone he really just restated what Sup. Brown had said. In fact, before the Mayor interjected, Sup. Brown was agreeing with the reporter. Here it is cued up to the moment before Mayor Lightfoot called out the reporter.

To sum all of this up, you have an angry crowd spreading misinformation about a police shooting followed by looting and rioting. If that sounds familiar it should.

Yesterday was the 6th anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. That situation also involved misinformation about a police shooting followed by looting and rioting. To this day, Brown’s death is considered one of the foundational moments for the rise of Black Lives Matter and lots of people still march in the streets chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot.” But just last month St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell announced that after a secret, 5-month re-investigation of the Brown case, no charges would be filed. Why? Because the evidence does not support prosecution of Officer Darren Wilson. It never did.

In June, video of an arrest went viral in Madison, Wisconsin and a riot followed in which a state senator was beaten up to the point that he had to be hospitalized. The mob often isn’t very careful about the details. All it takes is a little bit of prompting on social media and you get riots like what we saw in Chicago last night. That’s a pattern that is being repeated but it’s one the media does not want to notice or talk about even though it’s been part of BLM from the start.