Authorities charged a suspect, Latrell Allen, 20, with attempted murder of an officer after he allegedly shot first

By Jeff Truesdell
August 11, 2020 03:37 PM
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Aftermath of overnight looting Aug. 10 in Chicago
Scott Olson/Getty

A suspect who allegedly fired first at pursuing officers in Chicago was charged Monday after the incident sparked looting overnight Sunday in parts of the city's downtown, leading to the arrest of more than 100 people on charges of disorderly conduct, looting and battery against the police.

“We are waking up in shock this morning,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday. “What occurred downtown and in surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple.”

She intentionally distanced the looting from what she called the “righteous uprising” in her city following the May killing of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

“This was not an organized protest,” said police Superintendent David Brown, reports the Chicago Tribune. “Rather, this was an incident of pure criminality. This was an act of violence against our police officers and against our city.”

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Latrell Allen, 20, was arrested and charged with attempted murder after allegedly firing on police, who fired back, on Sunday afternoon on the city's South Side, according to a police news release.

Shattered store window on Michigan Avenue in aftermath of looting Aug. 10 in Chicago
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The incident in the Englewood neighborhood occurred around 2:30 p.m. Sunday as officers responded to a report of a man with a gun, who fled when approached — and then allegedly turned and shot at them, said Deputy Chief Yolanda Talley, according to the Tribune.

The officers who returned fire wounded the suspect, who was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center and is expected to survive, authorities said.

In court Tuesday, Allen was ordered held on a $1 million bond but it was not clear if he'd entered a plea and an attorney who might speak for him was not immediately identified, reports the Tribune.

In the aftermath, Lightfoot said “a false rumor on social media” claimed that police had killed a 15-year-old boy, fanning tensions at the scene and fueling social media messages for people to head downtown, where large numbers of people converged on the high-end North Michigan Avenue shopping district known as the Magnificent Mile.

“Tempers flare fueled by misinformation,” Brown said at the news conference, reports Chicago TV station WGN.

Chicago River bridges were raised to prevent access during downtown looting Aug. 10 in Chicago
Mike Lodgson/RMV/Shutterstock

Looting in several stores began around midnight Sunday in the shopping district and in other parts of downtown and took about four hours for police to contain. Authorities said 13 officers were injured, and a civilian and a private security guard were wounded by gunfire.

At one point, authorities ordered several bridges over the Chicago River to be raised to restrict access into downtown, and blocked some expressway ramps into the area before restoring regular access Monday morning, reports Chicago radio station WBEZ.

The clash comes amid President Trump's repeated criticisms of the mayor and her handling of violence in Chicago, to which his administration recently sent more federal agents.

The organization Black Lives Matter Chicago responded to the events by also criticizing Lightfoot.

“In a predictable and unfortunate move, she did not take this time to criticize her officers for shooting yet another Black man,” the organization said in statement, reports the Tribune. “Lightfoot instead spent her time attacking ‘looters.’ The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the CPD is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in.”