It’s almost cliche at this point. The pro-Second Amendment media almost has to cover Chicago violence come Monday morning. After all, there’s typically plenty of it, all from a very gun-controlled state.
However, today it’s a bit different. Today, there’s a special kind of ugly going on in Chi-town.
It’s the kind of ugly that most of us thought was over several weeks ago outside of the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately for Chicago, it’s not.
Hundreds of people swept through the Magnificent Mile and other parts of downtown Chicago early Monday, smashing windows, looting stores, confronting police and at one point exchanging gunfire with officers, authorities said.
The officers had stopped several people on Lake Street near Michigan Avenue when shots were fired from a passing car around 4:30 a.m., nearly five hours into the widespread vandalism, according to police spokesman Tom Ahern. No officers were shot but a squad car was hit, he said. It was not known if anyone in the gunman’s car was shot.
Ahern said other officers were injured through the night. Earlier, an officer was seen slumped against a building by Grand and Wabash avenues as other other cops tended to him. It was unclear what had happened to him. Ahern had no details on the injuries.
The looting began shortly after midnight as people darted through broken store windows and doors along Michigan Avenue carrying shopping bags full of merchandise. Cars dropped off more people as the crowd grew. At least one U-Haul van was seen pulling up.
Police made “a lot of arrests” and recovered at least one gun, officials said. One woman with shopping bags in her hands fell on the sidewalk as an officer was chasing her. Another woman appeared to have been pepper-sprayed. A rock was thrown at a squad car.
Perhaps most troubling, though, is that no one knows just what sparked off this bought of vandalism.
We know what the excuse was for previous looting. While I don’t see how raiding a local Target gets any justice for George Floyd, we do know that was the reason given for those protests turned riots. We had a reason, a point of reference, even if most of us thought it was ridiculous.
Now, though, we don’t even seem to have that. This wasn’t a protest that went rogue. It’s not a peaceful demonstration that was infiltrated by Antifa. At least, there’s no indication of that being the case, and I’d imagine there would be.
This, though? This is something else.
Gun battles with police? Senseless looting? No, this stinks of something else entirely.
Meanwhile, Mayor Lori Lightfoot seems completely unable to maintain any degree of control over her city. That shouldn’t be too surprising, though. After all, she’d much rather snipe at President Donald Trump than actually deal with the violence that already ran rampant over Chicago’s streets even before last night’s event.
It’ll be interesting to see what the response to this turns out to be. It’ll also be interesting to see if this mess continues tonight.