CHICAGO — There have been more than 3,000 arrests in Chicago in the nine days since protests began over the killing of George Floyd.
The city has been rocked by protests for Floyd, a Black man who Minneapolis Police officers killed, and by subsequent looting and vandalism.
In all, Chicago Police officers have made 2,665 arrests for civil unrest and disorderly conduct since May 29, the day protests began, said Supt. David Brown during a Monday call with reporters. Another 788 arrests have been made for looting.
During the same time, Chicago Police found and seized 529 guns, Brown said.
Most of the looting and vandalism occurred at the start of the protests. Officials, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot, have said people who weren’t part of the protests used them as cover to damage and steal from businesses.
Businesses on the South and West sides were hit particularly bad by looting. Some neighbors accused police of ignoring the looting of South Side businesses while battering protesters who were not looting.
But looting and vandalism has slowed down in recent days. During the Monday call, Lightfoot said the city “had a very quiet weekend” when it came to looting, robbery and arson.
“Look, what happened two weekends ago was like a wildfire that burned through our city,” Lightfoot said. “The scale of the criminal activity and the looting that happened, that was clearly organized by criminal gangs and crews, and then obviously there were people in neighborhoods who took advantage of the moment and added to the looting that took place, that was at such a scale and happening with such rapidity that it was difficult for us to respond.
“… But having been through that experience, we strategized and, I think, deployed resources in a way that was very, very helpful.”
The Police Department has been criticized heavily for its behavior when handling the protests and separate looting. Some critics have said the department arrested protesters inappropriately, causing concern since local jails have had large coronavirus outbreaks.
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