Leah wrote up the overnight rioting and looting in Chicago, including the key detail about what supposedly touched off the widespread crime and violence. A few additional thoughts: Some of the scenes of chaos were surreal and dramatic, such as drawbridges being raised to prevent people driving into parts of downtown to join the melee. As several people have pointed out on social media, this is not an image from Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight' Batman trilogy. This is real life:
The criminals targeted Chicago's nicest commercial areas and neighborhoods. Perhaps some callous or inured observers can't bring themselves to get too worked up over a Tesla dealership getting ransacked. But the aftermath also includes signs of families and businesses shattered in a spasm of mindless destruction:
The violence called to mind this tweet that repeats a common view on the hard Left, written by a Harvard doctor and prominent advocate for a single-payer government healthcare system. It seems as though this elite academic believes the government should provide and control everyone's healthcare, but is perhaps ambivalent at best on the government's role in protecting private property:
PSA: Damaging property is not, has never been, and never will be “violence.” Conflating the two is an insult to those who have actually suffered from violence.— Adam W Gaffney (@awgaffney) August 8, 2020
Dangerous, blithering moral idiocy. People responded with all sorts of salient points, from literal dictionary definitions, historical examples, obviously negative human consequences from 'mere' property damage, and a revolting, recent instance of "just" property destruction resulting in death. Others noted that many of the people who espouse Gaffney's nonsense also believe that words can be violence, or even that insufficiently woke silence can constitute violence. Still others encouraged Gaffney to publicly post his home address. Beyond this social media skirmish and related arguments over language, it must be said that dangerous physical violence also broke out during Chicago's overnight riots -- via the Chicago Tribune:
Hundreds of people swept through the Magnificent Mile and other parts of downtown Chicago early Monday, smashing windows, looting stores, confronting police and at one point exchanging gunfire with officers, authorities said. More than 100 people were arrested as of 9 a.m., according to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown. Thirteen officers were injured during the unrest, including a sergeant who was hit by a bottle. A civilian and private security guard were shot and wounded...The looting began shortly after midnight as people darted through broken store windows and doors along Michigan Avenue carrying shopping bags full of merchandise. Cars dropped off more people as the crowd grew. One woman with shopping bags in her hands fell on the sidewalk as an officer was chasing her. Another woman appeared to have been pepper-sprayed. A rock was thrown at a squad car. At least five guns were recovered, officials said. The scene was reminiscent of the looting that occurred earlier this summer amid the response to the the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. Both Lightfoot and Brown implicitly criticized Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, saying there weren’t consequences for looters earlier this summer.
Property damage and "non violent" destruction leads to other violence. Chicago's Mayor has locked horns in vitriolic rhetorical battles with the Trump administration in recent weeks, and has at times seemed preoccupied with tasks such as scolding beachgoers for gathering outdoors. This morning, she called the unrest "abject criminal behavior, pure and simple,” for which "there cannot be any excuse...Period.” But she also scolded reporters for asking questions about Kim Foxx's alleged dereliction of duty in failing to hold participants in earlier riots accountable for their actions. Mayor Lightfoot endorsed Foxx for re-election, in spite of her outrageous handling of the Jussie Smollett hate hoax. It seems as though Illinois Democrats can't decide whether to protect or blame one another. Chicago's Democratic officials have not been handling things well over recent months.
As referenced above, it's critical to point out that the incident that ostensibly triggered this latest rash of widespread violence and crime was a police-involved shooting that appears to have been 100 percent justified. Back to the Tribune: "City officials said the seeds for the violent crime spree were sown on social media Sunday afternoon following an officer involved shooting in the Englewood neighborhood. Officers shot and wounded a 20-year-old man Sunday after he fired shots at them while being chased, authorities said...Authorities said someone fed false information to the angry group, including that police shot and wounded a child." So a criminal fired rounds at police, who responded by shooting and wounding him. Someone seeded untrue rumors that a child had been struck by police bullets (children are routinely struck by criminals' bullets in the city), and within hours, people were getting dropped off to loot high-end stores in some of Chicago's toniest neighborhoods, far away from the incident.
None of this had anything to do with justice or reform, obviously. It was an excuse to steal and smash. Speaking of which, the violence and intimidation in Portland, Oregon continues apace -- once again proving that a federal presence to protect federal property from repeated arson attempts was a predictably bogus excuse for Antifa simply doing what Antifa always does:
“We’re gonna burn your building down”— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 9, 2020
“We know where you live”
As #antifa have taken to Portland residential areas to riot, they’ve also assaulted & intimidated residents there. Tonight, they threatened those who looked out the window. #PortlandRiots pic.twitter.com/1qiIOLk99j
The city's feckless and incompetent mayor has scolded rioters for attempting to murder police officers -- and he's the relatively sane one on the ballot. Madness. I'll leave you with scenes playing out in other major US cities (all run by "progressives," of course):
The first black woman to run the Seattle Police Department will now make $100,000 less than her white predecessor. So much for equity. pic.twitter.com/HJ1vM6vwfy— Katie Herzog (@kittypurrzog) August 10, 2020
LA councilman who voted to slash police budget called officers eight times to his house, records show https://t.co/qTzNrBx0Zb— David Freddoso (@freddoso) August 10, 2020
A teen boy is dead and 20 people were shot including an off-duty D.C. police officer "struggling for her life," according to police. The victim has been identified as 17-year-old Christopher Brown: https://t.co/IIKOKT8jHg pic.twitter.com/m2BfJPB7Y6— ABC 7 News - WJLA (@ABC7News) August 9, 2020
I'll note that this horrific mass shooting in DC, reportedly involving multiple gunmen, has garnered precious little national media attention. Ask yourself why.