CHICAGO — Three years ago today, Chicago was in the throes of another night of protests, riots, and looting that followed the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
Tensions ran high for weeks, and on August 9, officials claimed, a spark of misinformation about a police shooting in Chicago ignited another night of widespread looting, along the Magnificent Mile, the Loop, and neighborhood retail corridors.
The misinformation that the Chicago Police Department’s then-superintendent, David Brown, blamed for the August 9 uprising were inaccurate social media claims about the Chicago police shooting that afternoon of a 20-year-old man named Latrell Allen.
Some of the online posts repeated rumors that police shot had a 15-year-old boy. The chatter spread quickly and widely. Soon, the rumors turned into direct calls for looting in the downtown area. By that night, the rampage was underway.
Tonight, after less than three hours of deliberation, a jury convicted Allen on all charges before them, including four counts of attempted murder of police officers. Judge Thomas Byrne set the next court date for July 11.
COPA, the city’s police oversight agency, found that two officers who shot Allen that afternoon acted within the department’s guidelines after he opened fire on them while running away.
Officials said the officers first approached Allen because he matched the description of a suspect who had a gun in a park with children present.
Chicago police arrested over 100 people as looting and riots spread through the city’s downtown retail corridors following Allen’s shooting. Two people, including a store security guard, were shot during the riot.
The guard got into an altercation with a group of rioters in the 400 block of North Clark around 4 a.m., on August 10, police said. Several people in the group pulled out guns and opened fire on the guard, who was shot in the abdomen, according to police.
The other shooting victim that night was a 20-year-old man. He got shot while trying to drive away from a man who tried to carjack him in the 200 block of South Wabash.
Another gunman fired shots at police in the Loop that night. Those officers returned fire, but the gunman escaped, Brown said the following day.
Thirteen police officers were injured, including one who was struck by a bottle, Brown said. Another cop’s nose was broken.
In addition to the four counts of attempted murder, Allen was found guilty of two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm toward a peace officer and aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, according to court records.
Here are some videos CWBChicago recorded during the Magnificent Mile looting on August 9 into August 10, 2020: