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Looting in Chicago should be viewed as reparations, BLM rally organizer reportedly says

Black Lives Matter organizers gathered outside a South Loop police station to support the people who were arrested Monday after widespread looting took place across the city's downtown area.

Published: August 11, 2020 8:57am

Updated: August 11, 2020 12:20pm

A leader of a Chicago protest said that looting should be viewed as reparations, according to reports.

In Chicago, supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement held a rally on Monday to stand in solidarity with the more than 100 people arrested early that morning during the rioting and looting that took place in the city's downtown area. The looting, which took place during the early hours of Monday morning, caused tens of millions of dollars in damage and injured more than a dozen police officers. 

One organizer at the demonstration, which was held outside a police station in the city's South Loop, reportedly said the looting should be viewed as "reparations." 

"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 ... That is reparations," Ariel Atkins told NBC Chicago. 

"Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance," she continued.

The social unrest that led to the Monday morning looting began on Sunday afternoon, when a police officer in the city's Englewood neighborhood was involved in a shootout with a 20-year-old man. 

The officer had responded to reports of a man with a gun in the neighborhood. As the officer pursued the suspect, the man reportedly turned, and began firing at the officer. The officer fired back and struck the young man, who was taken to a nearby hospital. 

Latrell Allen, the 20-year-old suspect, was charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of an illegal firearm on Monday. The charge is in addition to four past charges against him, including burglary, child endangerment, and domestic battery. 

Initially, a false narrative was circulated about the shootout that an officer had shot and killed a 15-year-old boy. 

Black Lives Matter issued a statement on the looting directed at Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who condemned the criminal actions of the demonstrators on Monday.

"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 [Chicago Police Department] is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in," read the statement. 

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