The Cook County state’s attorney’s office announced Thursday that there have been 42 felony charges filed so far tied to this week’s looting downtown and in other neighborhoods.
“I am committed to keeping our communities safe and continuing to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to demand accountability and seek justice for the people of Cook County,” Kim Foxx said in a statement.
Chicago police said the theft and destruction that took place Sunday night into Monday morning stemmed from a wildfire of rumors that followed the police shooting of a 20-year-old Latrell Allen in Englewood Sunday afternoon.
Police said officers shot Allen after he fired at them several times. Allen was charged with attempted murder.
The most serious charge tied to the looting was attempted murder, but the state’s attorney’s office didn’t respond to calls Thursday to say whether that case was Allen’s.
No other attempted murder cases have been brought by the office this week in relation to the recent unrest, and a police spokesman could not confirm any attempted murder charges that have been sought by the CPD as of Thursday connected to the looting.
The vast majority of the felonies tied to the looting — nearly 67% — are for burglary/looting, the state’s attorney’s office said. Other charges include gun possession, aggravated battery/resisting arrest, theft and criminal damage to property.
In one case where prosecutors declined to approve felony charges that were earlier sought by the CPD, detectives ended up agreeing with the office’s decision, Foxx said.
Foxx’s announcement comes days after the top prosecutor defended herself against criticism from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Supt. David Brown, who said the state’s attorney’s office had not been aggressive enough in prosecuting looting cases in June following widespread civil unrest in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police office.
Foxx accused Lightfoot and Brown on Monday of playing “dishonest blame games” and called for “an honest conversation” about the causes of the looting.
Foxx’s office Thursday did not have information about misdemeanors related to the looting. Misdemeanors can be filed directly by police, who can also seek violation of city ordinance charges, which are prosecuted by city attorneys. In most of those cases, an arrestee is released on bond from the police stations with a court date. Prosecutors are not made aware of the charge until days before the person appears in court.
Additional looting related cases are still under investigation by police and will be reviewed by the state’s attorney’s office if felony charges are deemed appropriate, Foxx said.
The Chicago Police Department plans on deploying “all tactics necessary” to prevent looting, Brown said in a news conference on Michigan Avenue on Thursday.
“If that means deploying stop strips to puncture your tire if you’re caravanning cars to loot, we will disable your car to prevent the caravan,” Brown said. “If that means deploying tow trucks to impound your car that are caravanning to loot CPD will do so. If it means blocking off streets and boxing in caravans of looters, CPD will work to do so.”
Brown said Chicago police would work with state and federal partners to investigate reports of looting. On Wednesday, police launched a web portal to help identify suspected looters.
Contributing: Carly Behm