Already reeling from a steady wave of violence that has so far cost at least 18 lives this month and more than 425 so far this year, Chicago erupted with what Fox News described as “widespread looting and clashes with police” in the aftermath of a police shooting that left a suspect wounded.
Alarmingly, Ryan Baker, an anchor at WBBM-TV said in a tweet, “Absolute chaos in downtown Chicago with more overnight looting and vandalism in the Loop. Appears to be coordinated effort with minimal police presence.”
On social media, some observers are wondering how a shooting involving police justifies property destruction and looting. Fox News said the incident started Sunday afternoon when police responded to a report of a “man with a gun.” A pursuit followed during which the suspect allegedly fired at police, and they shot him. A crowd quickly assembled and started throwing things at police.
Monday morning, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the rioting and looting “an assault on our city.” More than 100 people were reportedly arrested in the disturbances, Fox reported.
According to the popular “Hey Jackass” website, during the week of Aug. 2-8, there were 11 gun-related murders and another 80 people were shot and wounded.
The question remains, however. Why do people pillage and loot in reaction to a shooting?
In a separate report, Fox News has dug into an interesting and complex problem. “As crime spikes in many cities and calls to defund the police rise,” the network reported Monday, “so too has the demand for guns — yet while these trends widely are seen as related, it remains difficult or time-consuming in many of these same places to get a firearm.”
“Firearm-related background checks reached 3.9 million nationally in June,” the report noted, “the most since the tracking system was created more than two decades ago, a sign of booming sales. The FBI conducted 3.6 million such checks in July, the second-highest number on record.”
In a news release recently, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the grassroots Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, observed, “No wonder so many more Americans are buying guns for personal protection.”
The Fox story also looked at other cities experiencing violent protests.
“Seattle is one of those cities,” Fox said, “with the City Council recently releasing a plan that could reduce its police department’s size by up to 100 officers by the end of the year, according to the Seattle Times. But that could just be a precursor, with the council also passing a resolution calling for more fundamental changes in how the department works in 2021.”
Sunday, a huge crowd—some estimates go as high as 2,000 to 3,000, while local broadcast news said “several hundred”—showed up at Seattle City Hal to support the city’s beleaguered police. Only a relative handful of counter-protesters appeared across the street, possibly fearful of getting into a physical confrontation with the larger pro-police crowd.
According to Fox, property crime has increased this year, comparing to statistics from 2016. There were six murders in July.
But Sunday night, destructive protesters were at it again, smashing windows and attempting to loot businesses.