Shots fired as crowds clash with police in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police early yesterday in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city’s downtown in the United States (US).

At one point, shots were fired at police and officers returned fire, police spokesman Tom Ahern said on Twitter. No officers were injured in the shooting. Many of the businesses that were ransacked had recently opened after Chicago protests of George Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis devolved into chaos.

It wasn’t immediately clear what led to the unrest, which began shortly after midnight, but anti-police graffiti was seen in the area. Hours earlier, dozens of people had faced off with police after officers shot and wounded a person on Sunday in the city’s Englewood neighbourhood, located about 16 kilometres away.

Asked for updates on the situation, Ahern told The Associated Press in an email that police planned to hold a news conference. Police Superintendent David Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot were expected to attend.

Along the Magnificent Mile, people were seen going in and out of stores carrying shopping bags full of merchandise as well as at a bank, the Chicago Tribune reported, and as the crowd grew vehicles dropped off more people in the area. On streets throughout the downtown area, empty cash drawers from stores were strewn about and ATMs were ripped open.

Stores miles from downtown were also ransacked, with parking lots littered with glass and items from inside the stores. Clothes and boxes that once contained television sets and other electronics were seen — evidence that thieves had taken racks of clothes and removed them from hangers.

Glass is shattered in the Nordstrom store after a riot occurred in the Gold Coast area of the city in Chicago. PHOTO: AP