Someone Falsely Claims Chicago Cops Shot a Child — Then a Riot Erupts


Widespread looting and vandalism in downtown Chicago early Monday was driven by false rumors that police fatally shot a child, authorities said.

The chaos: Rioters smashed windows, looted stores and clashed with law enforcement in Chicago’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and elsewhere in the city following an officer-involved shooting took place on Sunday night, the Chicago Tribune reported.

  • In response to the tumult, the Chicago Transit Authority suspended morning service in some parts of the city and officials raised all the bridges in Chicago but one, which was kept open for emergency vehicle access, the Washington Examiner reported.
  • Footage of looting and vandalism captured by witnesses was shared widely on social media.

The lie: Deputy Police Chief Yolanda Talley said on Sunday that officers returned fire at a 20-year-old suspect they were pursuing and wounded him.

  • The Chicago Tribune reported that after the shooting the baseless hearsay about police killing a young child began to spread.
  • Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said during a Monday press conference that misinformation had sparked the protests and looting.
  • Brown also revealed that the unnamed suspect, who was taken to a local hospital and whose current condition is unknown, had a lengthy arrest record, which included burglary, child endangerment and domestic battery.

The aftermath: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned the looters during a press conference on Monday.

  • “This is not legitimate First Amendment-protected speech. These were not poor people engaging in petty theft to feed themselves and their families,” Lightfoot said. “This was straight up felony, criminal conduct.”
  • Lightfoot said the “brazen and extensive criminal destruction” was not connected to peaceful demonstrations against police brutality, which have occurred across the U.S. following the May 25 death of George Floyd.
  • Approximately 100 people were arrested and 13 police officers were injured as a result of the fracas, WGN-TV reported.

According to NPR affiliate WBEZ, many of the businesses hit on Monday had recently reopened after racial justice protests in the wake of Floyd’s death descended into looting and vandalism in June.

By We'll Do It Live