On Sunday, Black Lives Matter activists took advantage of a misunderstood confrontation between an armed black man and police in Chicago. A Black Lives Matter protest became “very hostile” to police and an organized band of rioters and looters went through Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, damaging and looting stores. Among other things, the looters smashed the doors of a Ronald McDonald House location, terrorizing the families with sick children inside.
More than 30 families and their sick children were inside The Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s hospital, ABC 11 News reported. That Ronald McDonald House location serves families with children in the hospital.
“[We were] very concerned there was a lot of activity right in front of the house, people making choices that could put them at risk and put our families at risk so the staff was frightened,” Lisa Mitchell, of Ronald McDonald House Charities, told ABC News.
“They are already in a really, really difficult spot, and having this kind of additional stress and worry about getting to and from the hospital even though we are 5 blocks away because of safety concerns is just doubling the strain,” Mitchell added.
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The looters did not enter the facility, but they did break the window doors. The facility was put on lockdown during the attack. No one was injured.
Black Lives Matter activists have taken up the cause of 20-year-old Latrell Allen. Police claim Allen fired a gun at officers before the cops shot back, wounding him. Allen faces two counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon. CPD leaders said that misinformation about the shooting sparked the tensions that ultimately led to looting in downtown late Sunday night and early Monday morning.
Police said they dispatched 400 officers to respond to the looting. They arrested 100 people amid the riots, which injured 13 officers.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D-Chicago) called the looting a “planned attack.”
“When people showed up on Michigan Avenue in the downtown area with U-Haul trucks and cargo vans, and sophisticated equipment used to cut metal, and the methods that were used, and how quickly it got spun up … that wasn’t any spontaneous reaction,” Lightfoot told Time magazine.
“To be sure, there are people that did join in that were motivated by lots of different reasons, and certainly were motivated by social media posts encouraging people to come downtown,” She added. “But the core of what happened — that’s organized criminal activity … It was a planned attack.”
Yet a Black Lives Matter organizer defended the looting as a “reparation.”
“I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci’s or a Macy’s or a Nike because that makes sure that that person eats. That makes sure that that person has clothes,” Ariel Atkins said at a rally, The New York Post reported. “That’s a reparation.”
Did Black Lives Matter activists or looters engaging in lawbreaking in their name decide to seek “reparations” from The Ronald McDonald House? Or were these kids and their families merely the latest unintended victims of the George Floyd riots egged on by The New York Times‘ “1619 Project?”
The riots have destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 22 Americans have died in the riots. Many black leaders and celebrities have condemned the Black Lives Matter organization for refusing to focus on the many black lives snuffed out in black-on-black crime.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.