Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned a night of mass looting during a press conference Monday morning, warning “criminals and vigilantes” that “we are coming for you.”
Looters and rioters descended on the streets of Chicago early Monday morning after a man was reportedly hit during a shootout involving officers, according to Newsweek. Lightfoot addressed the chaos Monday morning, calling out criminals and noting that the behavior was not protected under the First Amendment.
“These individuals engaged in what can only be described as brazen and extensive criminal looting and destruction,” Lightfoot said. “And to be clear, this had nothing to do with legitimate, protected First Amendment expression.”
UPDATE: Mayor Lightfoot joins CPD Superintendent Brown to provide update on overnight criminal activity. https://t.co/84k7ybMJuY
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) August 10, 2020
Lightfoot said they woke up “in shock” Monday, adding that Chicago police are investigating reports that the looting was connected to the officer-involved shooting. (RELATED: Chicago Sees Massive Spike In Gun Violence And Murder In July)
Officers responded to reports of a man carrying a gun on the street Sunday in Englewood and an individual who matched the description of the suspect began to fire at officers upon arrival, Chicago police said according to Newsweek.
Officers reportedly returned fire and shot the suspect. One officer was reportedly hit during the shootout as well, according to Newsweek.
“But regardless, what returned in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject, criminal behavior, pure and simple,” Lightfoot added after noting it may have been a response to the shootout. “And there cannot be any excuse for it. Period.”
“This was straight up, felony, criminal conduct.”
Lightfoot reiterated comments from Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown, who discussed various plans being put into place to prevent further destruction in the city. The measures will remain in place “until we know that our neighborhoods are safe,” according to Lightwood.
“As the superintendent said, this was an assault on our city,” Lightwood announced before noting that it “undermines” recovery efforts from prior looting and COVID-19 shutdowns.
“There is no justification for criminal behavior ever. You have no right, no right, to take and destroy the property of others … This is not anywhere near acceptable,” she added.
“To those who engaged in this criminal behavior, let’s be clear: we are coming for you,” Lightfoot said according to Fox News. “We are already at work in finding you and we intend to hold you accountable for your actions.”