After Night of Looting, Lightfoot Blocks Off Downtown

An Old Navy store in downtown Chicago is boarded up Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 after a night of looting and unrest. The city will restrict access to downtown streets Monday night. (WTTW News)An Old Navy store in downtown Chicago is boarded up Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 after a night of looting and unrest. The city will restrict access to downtown streets Monday night. (WTTW News)

City officials will “temporarily restrict” access to downtown Chicago beginning at 8 p.m. Monday and ending at 6 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot has not issued an official city curfew order, according to an email sent to aldermen by Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar.

“All residents, essential workers and employees whose businesses are located downtown will have access at all times,” Mayekar wrote.

The city officials did not say when the nightly closures will end. 

City equipment will be used by the Chicago Police Department “to protect neighborhood commercial corridors and critical businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies,” officials said.  

The closures come a day after caravans of cars headed to the Loop and North Side to loot stores after a police officer shot and wounded a 20-year-old man in Englewood, causing widespread destruction and mayhem, officials said.

Lake Shore Drive will be closed between Fullerton Avenue Interstate 55, officials said. All expressway ramps from Roosevelt Road to Division Street will be closed in both directions, officials added.

Downtown bridges will be raised, officials said. However, bridges along LaSalle Street, Harrison Street, Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Drive, Kinzie Street and Grand Avenue will remain down. Westbound traffic will be allowed on the Ida B. Wells bridge, officials said.

“When arriving at the access points, residents and employees should show identification or proof that they live in the area and/or work in the area,” Mayekar wrote.

Residents and essential employees can enter downtown at Harrison Street, Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street, Roosevelt Road and Canal Street, Kinzie and Halsted streets and LaSalle Street.

CTA train service will be suspended from Fullerton Avenue to 47th Street and Halsted Street. Buses will run, but will be rerouted by bridge and street closures, officials said. Divvy bicycles will not be available from North to Ashland avenues and Cermak Road between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

City officials used a similar strategy after protests triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody turned into unrest that swept the city, significantly damaging businesses on the South and West sides.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]


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