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CTA shutting down bus and train services Sunday night (LIVE UPDATES)

The CTA announced all buses and trains will stop service at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

A CTA train passes over Lake Street in Chicago on August 14, 2018.
Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

5:52 p.m. CTA suspending all buses, trains Sunday evening

The CTA announced it would be suspending all buses and trains Sunday evening in the wake of widespread protests that turned violent Saturday.

All CTA service will be suspended at 6:30 p.m. Sunday “at the request of public safety officials,” the transit agency said. They expect service to resume Monday morning but did not offer an exact time.

Saturday’s protests in response to the death of George Floyd ended with violent confrontations between police and protesters. Buildings across the downtown area were looted and vandalized, and several police vehicles were flipped or burned in the chaos.

CTA service had already been cut off to the Loop since Saturday afternoon, and bridges across the Chicago River remain raised as well.

Pace Suburban Bus also announced that all services would be suspended at 6:30 p.m.

3:40 p.m.: Pritzker says Guard has ‘explicit direction not to interfere’ with protests

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Sunday that “stringent parameters on use of force” have been given to members of the Illinois National Guard who have been activated to help support the Chicago Police Department.

“With regard to protestors who are exercising their First Amendment rights, the Guard has explicit direction not to interfere,” Pritzker said.

Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Richard Neely said members of the guard have already arrived in Chicago. He said they are here “to help manage street closures” and said, “we are committed to protecting every citizen to ensure their rights are not stepped on.”

Neely said the guard members in Chicago come from the 33rd military police battalion based in Machesney Park, and he said the group is made up of civilian police officers, teachers and factory workers. He described them as military first-responders.

“We are a slice of Illinois,” Neely said. “And we are a slice of this city.”

2:52 p.m. Metra suspends services to and from downtown Chicago

People looking to enter or exit downtown Chicago via train will have to find an alternative way Sunday.

Metra announced on Twitter that it is canceling all trains scheduled to arrive or leave downtown after 3 p.m. Sunday. CTA service in the Loop has also been suspended at the request of public safety officials, the agency said on Twitter.

The news comes as the city prepares for a third day of protests as demonstrators demand justice for the killing of George Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

2 p.m.: Trump declares Antifa a terrorist group as city officials blame outsiders for violence

As protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent this weekend in Chicago and other U.S. cities, government officials have begun to blame organized groups they say are intentionally triggering the violence to create division in America.

In Chicago, officials had yet to cite specific groups for helping turn what had started as peaceful protests into full-blown riots on Saturday night. But during a Sunday news conference Mayor Lori Lightfoot said of the violence, “absolutely, it was organized. There’s no question whatsoever about that.”

Click here to read the full Sun-Times report.

12 p.m.: Gov. Pritzker says he has activated 375 Illinois National Guard soldiers

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office announced Sunday he had activated 375 Illinois National Guard soldiers for state active duty at the request of the city of Chicago.

“The Guard will carry out a limited mission to help manage street closures and will not interfere with peaceful protestors exercising their First Amendment rights,” a statement from Pritzker’s office read.

“This is an immensely challenging moment for our city, our state, and our country, one born from decades and centuries of systemic racism,” Pritzker said in a statement. “To those peacefully expressing the pain, fear, and rage of this moment, I hear you. Your voices matter. We must address the profound injustices in our society and bring about real and meaningful change.”

11:43 a.m.: Emotional mayor calls for a moment of silence in Chicago at 5 p.m.

Turning emotional in her press conference, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for a moment of silence in Chicago at 5 p.m.

“In this city we care for each other,” Lightfoot said, appearing to hold back tears. “We’ve seen that over and over again. This is a time for us to unite. We have to turn our pain into purpose.”

11:36 a.m.: Lightfoot says Pritzker is ordering a contingent of the National Guard “to maintain a limited presence in support” of the Chicago Police Department.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Sunday that Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered a contingent of the National Guard to maintain a limited presence in support of the Chicago Police Department. She made the announcement at a Sunday morning press conference following Saturday night’s violence.

Lightfoot kicked off the press conference by saying it is “absolutely devastating” to see images and reports “of reckless destruction that played out across our city and really across our country.” She said it is heartbreaking, but she said, “this chaos and destruction is not the right tactic to bring change.”

She called it “disgusting” and “obscene,” and she said, “You can do better than what I saw last night. And I pray to God that you will find it in your heart to embrace something better for yourself and your lives.”

11:04 a.m.: Chicago Police Department says 240 people were arrested, 20 officers injured amid Saturday night violence

With Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot preparing to address the city, Chicago Police Department spokesman Howard Ludwig said 240 people were arrested amid the violence that followed protests in the Loop Saturday. He also said 20 officers were injured.

More details were expected from Lightfoot at an 11:15 a.m. press conference.

10:41 a.m.: State Police announce ramp closures

The Illinois State Police announced a series of expressway ramp closures Sunday following Saturday’s violence in the Loop.

The following ramps are closed:

  • I-290 eastbound to Congress.
  • I-94 northbound to Congress.
  • I-94 northbound and southbound to Old Orchard Road.
  • I-90 northbound to Ohio.
  • I-90 southbound to Ohio.

Updates can be found on Facebook @IllinoisStatePolice or @ISPDistrictChicago or on Twitter @ILStatePolice or @ChicagoISP.

10:07 a.m.: Lightfoot announces new precautionary measures, limits access to the Loop, affirms daily curfew

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced new “precautionary measures” Sunday morning that limit various routes to the Loop. It also affirmed the city’s curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. is in effect “until further notice.”

The mayor said the Chicago Police Department and other city agencies will reduce access to the central business district and Loop “to only employees whose businesses are located within the designated boundaries, individuals who reside in the surrounding area and residents engaged in essential activities” as defined by the city code.

Boundaries for the reduced area are:

• Division from Lake Shore Drive and North Halsted Street.

• North Halsted from Division to Milwaukee and Grand.

• Milwaukee from Grand to Kinzie.

• Canal from Kinzie to 26th.

• 26th from Canal to Lake Shore Drive.

CTA service is also suspended for trains and buses coming in and out of the Loop. Updates are available at transitchicago.com.

“The city is working closely with the organizers of rallies and protests scheduled to take place within the area this afternoon to provide an alternative, optional route for marches to peacefully and safely return in Chicago,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.

VIDEO: On the ground from Chicago’s protests