CHICAGO (News Nation/WGN-TV) — Chicago police said they are preparing for the upcoming weekend in order to avoid a repeat of the downtown looting that followed a shooting in the city’s Englewood neighborhood.
Police are seeking to reassure businesses that they’ll be ready to protect their property.
As the weekend approaches, Chicago police say they are prepared to protect the city from looting. Days after businesses were ransacked by looters, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown issued a stern warning Thursday ahead of the upcoming weekend.
“The looters have made the point that we’re larger than you, we outnumber you, you’ve heard that in some of the crowds, we’ll be back, this kind of empty threat, we are committed to deploying our resources as large as we have to be, not only to protect our downtown but also our neighborhood retail corridor,” he said.
Brown said they will add 1,000 officers — canceling days off and extending hours.
CPD plans to deploy all tactics possible to prevent and stop looting.
That includes the promise to anyone who attempts to loot — they will be arrested and prosecuted. The superintendent promised to go after and find all those responsible.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said 42 people have been charged with felonies following the unrest in the city this week.
“We must show that you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and not be let out of jail without any consequence. We as a group, not just police, prosecutors both state and federal are committed to making that happen,” Brown said.
There is a protest planned for Saturday at noon where marchers plan to shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Illinois State Police said they are aware of those plans and will work to protect the rights of those peacefully protesting along with ensuring the safety of the public.
During a Thursday press conference near the city’s lakefront, Mayor Lori Lightfoot outlined a strategy that includes a Chicago Police team to monitor social media around the clock for efforts to organize looting or other crime.
Police blamed some of the chaos Sunday night and early Monday on people who used social media to organize car caravans, bringing dozens together to ransack stores and other businesses downtown.
Monitoring public social media posts for similar plans this weekend will let police and other city agencies quickly respond before commercial areas become targets, Lightfoot said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.