Officers shot and wounded a suspect who was firing at them in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood Sunday afternoon, police said. The shooting led to chaos in the area, with crowds lashing out at what they called extreme police actions, reports CBS Chicago.
Officers gave another story, saying misinformation sparked the widespread outrage that ended with citizens and officers injured and a sense of distrust in the community.
Police said they were called around 3:20 p.m. about a person with a gun.
Officers found a man in an alley who matched the description they were given and they attempted to confront him, but the suspect fled and, during the chase, took out a gun and fired at the officers, according to police. They returned fire and hit him, police said.
The suspect was in custody at the University of Chicago Medical Center, police News Affairs Deputy Director Tom Ahern tweeted.
The officers involved were transported to a nearby hospital for observation, police said.
A gun was recovered at the scene, Ahern reported. He tweeted a photo of the gun in the grass next to an evidence marker.
Offender’s firearm recovered by police after firing at Officers. Officers returned fire striking the offender. Offender transported to U of C Hospital. pic.twitter.com/UQPmfP3a35
— Tom Ahern (@TomAhernCPD) August 9, 2020
Meanwhile, word of the incident left outrage behind. Videos showed a crowd gathering about an hour later, and more police flooded in.
Tense moments followed amid clashes over what police said were multiple things – including the suspect's age.
Word spread on social media that the person officers shot was a boy – something police refuted.
"Just to clear up confusion – late teens early, 20s," said Chicago Police Deputy Chief Yolanda Talley. "Just misinformation all around. No one was concerned about the condition of the young man."
But as time went on, police said, the crowds got aggressive.
"We did have an officer who was Maced by someone in the crowd. We do have an officer who sustained a shoulder injury. One of our vehicles, the windows were shattered by a brick," Talley said. "Very hostile."
But community activists who came out gave a different account. One told CBS Chicago officers were abrasive and activists had to calm the situation down.
"I watched a police officer grab a young man and pull him in with his shirt and beat him up and kick him in the face. They left his blood on the ground," said activist Joseph Williams. "I watched the police whip another young man, throw him in the back of the car and drive off with him."
Newsweek said "large scale protests and unrest" broke out and there were reports of looting across the city and people setting vehicles on fire.
The Associated Press reported that, "Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police early Monday in Chicago's Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city's downtown."
Apparent looting was caught on video by Frank Calabrese:
THEY ARE LOOTING PORTILLO'S @portilloshotdog AND WALGREENS. I CALLED 911, BUT NO POLICE AT ALL! Hundreds of looters @Chicago_Police #ChicagoScanner #chicagoriots #looting #chicago @CWBChicago @Chicago_Scanner pic.twitter.com/bRXKVEfTRj
— Frank Calabrese 'Wear a Mask' 😷 (@FrankCalabrese) August 10, 2020
Police said two arrests were made.
On Sunday night, activists urged better policing, while police urged more community awareness.
"It's disturbing to me because when will police ever practice community engagement?" Williams said. "When will they practice anything that deals with mediating conflict?"
"This right here is a direct response to one agitator being on the scene, getting people worked up without having the full story," Talley said.
The specifics of the incident, including a comprehensive use of force investigation, were being probed Sunday evening by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Per protocol, the three officers involved will be placed on administrative leave for 30 days.
CBS Chicago has requested any bodycam footage of the incident.