Looters targeted a Ronald McDonald House—a charity that provides free housing to families with sick children—in downtown Chicago Monday morning.
Thousands drove into Chicago early Monday to loot high-end retailers, department stores, and other businesses around the city’s Magnificent Mile. Residents and staff in the nearby Ronald McDonald House were forced into lockdown as looters targeted the building, breaking the charity’s doors and windows.
The Chicago charity currently houses 30 families whose children receive treatment at a nearby children's hospital. Looters did not enter the building and nobody inside was injured. Staffer Lisa Mitchell said the safety concerns caused by riots create extra stress for already strained families.
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"They're already in a really really difficult spot," Mitchell said. "Having this kind of additional stress and worrying about being able to get to and from the hospital, even though we’re five blocks away because of safety concerns, is just doubling the strain."
The Chicago Police Department deployed hundreds of officers after discovering a widely circulated online video encouraging Chicago residents to ransack downtown businesses. More than 100 people were arrested in connection to the looting spree. Two people were shot and 13 police officers were injured.
Chicago’s Second Ward alderman Brian Hopkins (D.) told Chicago ABC 7 news that law enforcement’s response to the violence was "ineffective" and "passive."
"It's a recipe for ineffective law enforcement, and that's what we saw with this wide-scale looting where the police officers were largely in a passive posture, letting it happen because they didn't know how to stop it," Hopkins told ABC 7 Chicago on Tuesday. "And in many cases if they did try to intervene, it was a threat to their own life and safety."
As a result of the looting, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot—who, until the recent looting spree, voiced support for the anti-police protests—said she would restrict access to downtown at night. Anti-police protests, many of which have turned into violent riots and looting, began earlier this summer following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.