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Chicago mayor defends downtown restrictions as unrest spread
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Chicago mayor defends downtown restrictions as unrest spread


CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended her decision to put tight restrictions on downtown saying Monday that vandalism and violence following protests over George Floyd's death “spread like a wildfire” to city neighborhoods.

Several aldermen blamed the first-term mayor for not doing enough to protect neighborhood businesses.

But Lightfoot said more officers were deployed to neighborhoods and more city resources would be forthcoming, including use of sanitation trucks to close roads.

After downtown Chicago protests, unrest spreads to suburbs

The number of 911 calls soared to 65,000 over a 24-hour period ending at midnight, which is 50,000 more than usual, Lightfoot said. Police arrested about 700 people Sunday mostly on the South and West sides, according to Police Chief David Brown.

“We didn't stand by and let the South and West sides burn,” Lightfoot said. “There is no way, no way, that we would ever let any neighborhood receive more resources and protection than any others, ever. And that certainly didn't happen over the course of the weekend."

The citywide chaos came after peaceful downtown protests Saturday devolved into vandalism and violence.

Protests force Target, CVS and Walmart to close some stores

Police arrested 240 people. Lightfoot suspended public transportation and limited downtown access only to people who work or live there. She also enforced a 9 p.m. curfew and requested the Illinois National Guard.

Gallery: National unrest hits Region


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