During a Black Lives Matter rally in Chicago, Illinois on Monday, one activist defended looting by saying that the practice of burglarizing businesses is actually reparations for slavery.
The Black Lives Matter activists gathered on Monday in solidarity with the dozens of Chicago residents who were arrested after a night full of looting and criminal activity that was even condemned by the city’s super-liberal Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Ariel Atkins, a Black Lives Matter organizer, spoke out during this rally to defend looting.
“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,” Atkins said. “That makes sure that person has clothes.”
“That is reparations,” she continued. “Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance.”
Looting continues in downtown Chicago as of 5:45am. These people are coming out of the Block 37 mall on Randolph west of State Street. Looting has been going on all over downtown and the Magnificent Mile since around midnight. Police are all over the place. @WBBMNewsradio pic.twitter.com/qrBwm8KCZX
— Bernie Tafoya (@BernieTafoya) August 10, 2020
The night of looting on Sunday was sparked by a police-involved shooting in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood that afternoon. Officers said that 20-year-old Latrell Allen opened fire on police, forcing them to return fire and injure him. Though he is expected to recover, Allen has been hit with attempted murder charges, much to the outrage of Black Lives Matter protesters.
“This person fired shots at our officers,” CPD Superintendent David Brown said. “Officers returned fire and struck the individual.”
Atkins and her fellow activists, however, don’t seem to be buying it.
“Police say a lot of things,” Atkins said.
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 10, 2020
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The Chicago Police Department has confirmed that the officers involved in the shooting were not wearing body cameras, and is asking the public for video evidence if any witnesses managed to catch it on camera. Atkins and Black Lives Matter is taking this and running with it, saying that the lack of body cameras points to deep-seated issues with Chicago police.
“Even though the Department of Justice said with the consent decree they are no longer allowed to chase people, they decided they were going to chase, and they shot this young man multiple times,” she claimed.