A Chicago Black Lives Matter (BLM) organizer Monday equated the looting of local stores with “reparations” for black Americans at a rally in support of those arrested during the Monday morning’s riots.
Ariel Atkins, identified by a Chicago NBC affiliate as a BLM organizer, said looting was justified because it means that an impoverished “person eats.” A report Tuesday from Fox News “Outnumbered” recounted Atkins’ comments from the night before.
“I don’t care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats,” Atkins said. “That makes sure that person has clothes.” (RELATED: ‘We Are Coming For You,’ Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Warns ‘Criminals And Vigilantes’ After Night Of Mass Looting, Unrest)
“That is reparations,” she continued. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance. They’re going to get their money back. My people aren’t getting anything.”
The rally was held late Monday afternoon after some early morning rioting and looting. Police arrested over 100 people while 13 officers were injured.
Black Lives Matter Chicago posted about the rally on Twitter, mentioning that “reparations” would be a theme of the event.
Since the weather has cleared, THIS RALLY IS GOING AHEAD
See you there! Tonight, #WeKeepUsSafe#DefundCPD #CPACNow https://t.co/XvUonrsSba
— BLMChicago (@BLMChi) August 10, 2020
Chicago police told NBC News that they believe the looting was prompted by the shooting of 20-year-old Latrell Allen on Sunday afternoon. He was carrying a gun and resisted arrest by shooting at the pursuing officers, according to police. The offices returned fire and wounded Allen. (RELATED: ‘Don’t Bait Us!’: Chicago Mayor Snaps At Reporter For Asking If ‘No Consequences’ For Previous Arrestees Encouraged Latest Looting)
Allen has been charged with two counts of attempted murder.
But BLM Chicago organizers are not satisfied with the police account of the incident and have been critical of the officers involved in the incident not wearing body cameras, according to NBC.
“Police say a lot of things,” Atkins told NBC.