Yesterday and today, peaceful protests took place in our ward - one that walked to and from Oz Park, and one that has been taking place from Wrigley Field down Clark Street. I monitored both throughout and was encouraged by how everyone conducted themselves.
Our Constitution protects everyone's right to protest peacefully. The death of George Floyd demands the passionate, peaceful outrage I have seen from so many protestors.
I am a law and order person. Our 18th and 19th District Police Officers, who have demonstrated great care and respect in these marches.
I also strongly believe the police should follow the rules. When they don’t, they should be fired or indicted.
Therefore, we must continue the path of police reform that we have begun; our new Police Superintendent intends to follow that path. The better trained and supported our police officers are, the better justice that is delivered.
Our local businesses have taken great care during this crisis. We have worked with the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce and local stores, and many businesses have taken preventative measures to board up their stores and remove valuables. We continue to encourage this activity for the time being.
And I applaud the work of so many of our neighbors to take their cans in and water down the trash. There were in fact arsons in some communities, but last night, not ours. Keep it up.
Many people here and across the city are scared. The
looting and crimes of opportunity that take place in the wake of protests are frightening, dangerous, and wrong. They cause long-term damage to our communities—damage that sometimes takes decades to repair—and we need to ensure the safety of our community and our businesses.
We do not tolerate crime, and have worked with many of you over the years to fight crime in our community. We must hold the looters accountable.
Reports from the last three days are that about 20 businesses in our ward have been vandalized or looted. There were also more businesses looted in the area immediately around our Ward on Clybourn. Police have made some arrests for vandalizing and looting, including three people yesterday at the New Balance store on Clark.
Our Special Service Areas on Clark and Lincoln Avenue have private security cars that have monitored those streets and have helped police.
You have seen many many stores boarded up in our community. Except for the businesses that were in fact damaged, these board ups are preventative.
We have been through a lot this year, by continuing to come together as a community, interacting peacefully, and remaining vigilant, we will get through this as well.