In the early hours of Monday morning, Aug. 10, downtown Chicago was surprised by over a hundred vandals who approached and broke the windows of dozens of businesses to loot merchandise and take everything in sight, also destroying ATMs to steal money. The police arrived on the scene and the confrontation left more than 100 people arrested and 13 officers injured. 

According to coverage by CBS News Chicago, Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters that Sunday afternoon there was a shooting of a 20-year-old man who shot at police, which caused a social media posting to go viral urging people to form a motorcade and converge on the business district where the disaster occurred.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at a press conference, said, “This was straight up, felony criminal conduct. (…) This was an assault on our city.” Without giving further details, she added that the city activated a neighborhood protection program that will be active every day until it knows that the neighborhoods are safe again.

Many of the businesses that were victims of the attacks had recently reopened their doors after the protests in Chicago over the death of George Floyd. Chicago businesses suffered unprecedented attacks and looting with declared losses of $66 million, as CBC News reported at the time.

Along the Magnificent Mile, crowds of people were seen entering and then leaving stores with shopping bags full of merchandise. As the crowd grew, vehicles continued to arrive and leave more people in the area while others returned to their vehicles to deposit the merchandise and leave. Throughout the city center, empty cash boxes in shops were scattered and ATMs were broken into.

Stores miles from downtown were also looted, with parking lots filled with glass, trash, and discarded store items. Boxes that once contained televisions and other electronic devices were seen, evidence that the thieves had taken everything in their reach.

Undoubtedly, given the number of people and the swift action of the attackers, this was an orchestrated and predetermined action. 

Media coverage

The vandalism had all of Chicago and much of the United States on alert for several hours. It was undoubtedly one of the most important events, if not the most important, of the entire day on Monday. However, as Fox News reported, some media did not report on the looting. Such is the case with MSNBC and CNN, which offered little or no coverage of the riots.

While there were more than 100 arrests, more than a dozen injuries, and millions of dollars lost in stolen goods and destruction of property, it seems that this was not reason enough to get much coverage by some media. MSNBC completely ignored the massive looting in Chicago. CNN was almost devoid of coverage, host Anderson Cooper devoted only 2 minutes and 36 seconds to the subject despite having two full hours on Monday night. His colleague Don Lemon did not report on the violence until 40 minutes into his second hour, which is broadcast at 11 p.m.

MSNBC’s most watched programs, including “The Rachel Maddow Show,” also avoided the recent round of Joe Biden’s mistakes and Jeffrey Epstein’s recently released documents implicating former President Bill Clinton.