CHICAGO — Police officers arrested fewer people Tuesday night, one of the “quietest nights” since looting and vandalism started this weekend, said Supt. David Brown.
Overall, there were 274 arrests, Brown said during a Wednesday call with reporters. Of those, 46 were for disorderly conduct.
There were far fewer incidents of looting Tuesday night compared to previous nights, Brown said, with six people arrested for looting. All were people who were going back to businesses that had already been stolen from.
The drop comes as Chicago has been rocked by vandalism and looting in recent days. Officials have said people are using peaceful protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis as cover to wreak havoc.
Chicago has seen people come from out of the city “who intend on causing trouble, who throw rocks at officers or try to verbally entice officers or try to destroy property and hurt person,” Brown said. “We’ve had some of those factions.”
The worst of the vandalism Downtown occurred over the weekend, leading Mayor Lori Lightfoot to start a 9 p.m. curfew, call in the National Guard and largely shut off the Loop and River North from the rest of the city.
That’s led to heavy criticism, with many people saying it forced the vandalism into residential neighborhoods. The South and West sides saw the brunt of looting and fires after Downtown was shut down, though other parts of the city were hit, as well.
But on Tuesday, Lightfoot and Brown said getting people out of the Loop and River North was necessary so they could get more police officers into residential neighborhoods.
“The value of having the National Guard Downtown was so we could then put more resources into the” neighborhoods, Lightfoot said. “What we saw happening on Sunday and into Sunday night and Monday morning was like somebody setting a match to a dry forest and the blaze just spread everywhere. We could have had three, four times the size of our Police Department and we were still gonna see a significant amount of damage.
“… Certainly to suggest that somehow we intentionally spared Downtown, tell that to the shop owners along Michigan Avenue who lost everything on Saturday night. It’s not true. And the data backs it up.”
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