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Chicago deploying 1,000 extra officers over weekend to deter looting

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Chicago will deploy 1,000 extra police officers across the city this weekend after the area experienced looting throughout downtown and some residential parts of the city this week.

Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent David Brown announced Thursday the city’s safety plans following widespread looting and damaging of businesses that resulted in more than 100 arrests this week, local NBC affiliate WMAQ-TV reported.

Brown said the CPD would extend officers’ hours and cancel days off, emphasizing, “This is our town; it doesn’t belong to the criminals.”

“Don’t let these criminals run you out of this beautiful city,” Brown said, adding, “Our department, our police officers will risk their lives to protect you. Not in our town. Not in our city.”

According to CPD police spokesman Tom Ahern, widespread looting broke out early Monday morning on Lake Street near Michigan Avenue, with suspects using U-Haul trucks and cargo vans to steal items from businesses in the area.

Afterward, Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) told Time magazine this week the violence and robberies were a result of “organized criminal activity.”

Brown was stern in his message Thursday, warning any potential looters that the CPD “is going to arrest you,” noting that department would use any means necessary to prevent looters from stealing this weekend.

“We are going to deploy all tactics necessary to prevent and stop looting,” Brown added. “That means deploying stop strips to puncture your tires if you’re caravaning cars to loot. We will disable your cars to prevent the caravan, and we will work very hard to do so. If that means deploying tow trucks to impound your cars that are caravaning to loot, CPD will do so,” Brown said. 

A Black Lives Matter demonstration is also planned for Saturday to block off part of the Dan Ryan Expressway as extended police patrols deploy throughout the city.

The protest was organized by several local groups and is titled “Black Lives Matter March: SHUTDOWN OUR DAN RYAN,” a demonstration akin to the historic 2018 anti-violence march that shut down the road two years ago.

Organizers for the peaceful march are reportedly in contact with Illinois State Police to coordinate a “safe route of travel.”

“The Illinois State Police will protect the rights of those seeking to peacefully protest while ensuring the safety of the public,” the department said in a statement.

Tags Black Lives Matter Chicago Chicago Police Department Donald Trump Illinois Lori Lightfoot United States William Barr

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