Chicago police Superintendent David Brown warned the city on Aug. 15 after widespread Chicago looting: “You can run, but you can’t hide.”
Brown made the comment at a press conference to announce the arrest of a man who police say took a hammer to an ATM machine and then “brazenly” smiles for a camera. “Looting and wanton criminal acts only hurt the cause of justice and equality. Not in our city. Not in our town,” said Brown, the former Dallas police chief who has been under fire for the police response to widespread Chicago looting along the Magnificent Mile and Gold Coast.
Chicago police are stepping up their rhetoric and actions against looters. On Aug. 13, the Chicago Police Department announced that it had sought felony charges in 43 cases in the wake of the Magnificent Mile damage, and all but one of those was approved.
The most common charge issued was for burglary and looting but other charges included attempted murder and aggravated battery/resisting arrest, according to Fox 32 Chicago.
On Aug. 15, Chicago police Superintendent David Brown held a news conference with First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter and Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan “to announce the first arrest by the Looting Task Force.”
The 42 earlier charges stemmed from widespread looting in the city the Sunday before that resulted in at least 100 arrests. According to Fox 32, the charges came after the mayor and police superintendent argued that state’s attorney Kim Foxx wasn’t charging enough looting cases, emboldening criminals.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Brown “put an extra 1,000 cops on the street” to try to prevent more downtown looting in the wake of criticism that city officials did not do enough to get the situation under control when the Magnificent Mile and Gold Coast were targeted.
High-end retailers along the Magnificent Mile and Gold Coast area were targeted by the looters on Aug. 9, according to The Tribune, which described how looters “jumped out to break windows of high-end retailers… Some looters were seen calmly hauling stacks of clothes and other goods on foot.” The situation spun out of control with the Tribune describing police as “undermanned” in response. The Washington Post described how “officers shot at least one person and chased suspects toting bags full of goods, tackling some to the ground” during the chaos.
Police Released Chicago Looting Photos
At their Aug. 15 news conference, police stood against a backdrop of photos of people they suspect are looters.
“About 12 blocks from here, protesters are scheduled to begin marching…through the city,” Brown said in the Aug. 15 news conference. “The men and women of the Chicago pd will do everything we can to protect the safety and First Amendment right s of peaceful protests. But what happened last week downtown and on the west side had nothing to do with protests or peace. It was criminal behavior, and it will not be tolerated in the city of Chicago.”
He added: “If you are breaking windows, going in and out of stores, or looting merchandise from a store, the Chicago Police Department will arrest you. If you get away from us, we will..identify you and arrest you.”
He announced that felony charges were issued against a 20-year-old Chicago man who “stared directly into a cell phone camera, smiled, and brazenly went back to breaking into an ATM machine with a hammer.” However, shortly after asking the community for help in identifying that man, police had his name.
Brown called the act “shameful,” and thanked the community for speaking out against it.