Neighborhood Notice: Update on Protest Activity This Weekend – Alderman Brendan Reilly

Alderman Reilly Reports  8/26/2020

Dear Neighbors,

As many of you know, ‘Shutdown the Magnificent Mile – Black Lives Matter,’ is a planned protest set to occur on Saturday, August 29 at 5:00pm. My office has received a number of inquiries from residents and Property Managers about this event. At this point in time, the Chicago Police Department has indicated there is no significant, actionable intelligence that this will be a large gathering, according to open-source social media.

Please note that, while this protest is scheduled to occur in the 42nd Ward, Aldermanic approval is not required for these types of demonstrations, as the right to peaceful protests is protected by the First Amendment.

In an abundance of caution, City agencies and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) will be relying upon its all-hands-on-deck neighborhood protection plan. CPD will be implementing other strategies to protect the area as needed and plan to have high visibility with hundreds of officers downtown starting Thursday night. Details regarding the five core strategies are below.

Rapid and Agile Resource Deployment

In the event it is needed, the Department will deploy officers from the impacted District, the Critical Incident Response Team, and the Community Safety team to the affected location. Each officer will be given a specific block to protect.

Additionally, City resources – including Streets and Sanitation vehicles – will be mobilized to assist CPD in maintaining control of the area through tactics such as traffic control. These resource deployments will ensure CPD has adequate coverage to protect businesses and residents.

Stronger Community Partnerships

In an effort to leverage neighborhood leadership, CPD’s Community Policing team is partnering with local community, faith-based and business leaders to conduct weekly operation meetings to improve public-private coordination and further prepare for potential incidents. This effort will also include full integration of the business community in the Office of Emergency Management and Communications’ Summer Operations Center.

Additionally, CPD will engage in more proactive communications with not only businesses but also with communities to ensure that they have up-to-date information on potential threats so that they are positioned to discourage and prevent such activity.

Enhanced Use of Technology and Data Analytics

CPD’s Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC) has formed a specialized twenty person team to focus on around-the-clock robust review of open source social media activity that could indicate plans for looting. This will include ongoing key term searches as well as review of relevant pages or accounts that have been used to organize such activity previously.

This proactive monitoring will provide crucial intel so that CPD is aware of planned activity at the earliest time possible and can appropriately respond and shut it down.

Robust Legal Action

If other looting actions occur, CPD has created a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department has formed a special Task Force of Detectives to specifically manage looting cases to ensure that those who loot are held accountable. This Task Force is already reviewing video camera footage and other evidence to identify perpetrators and develop strong cases against them.

More than 100 people have been arrested since earlier this month and the Task Force continues to identify and arrest individuals involved. The Task Force on looting will work in close partnership with the CCSAO to ensure that individuals are held accountable for their actions. CCSAO has offered their assistance to ensure that CPD is able to bring appropriate charges and are fully prosecuted.

Illinois State Police will be deployed to shut down areas of access to the city in an emergency, and Cook County Sheriff will be immediately deployed to neighborhoods to assist in violence reduction efforts.

Furthermore, the Mayor’s Office is drafting a new looting ordinance for consideration at the September City Council meeting which will create a new municipal citation providing CPD much greater flexibility in prosecuting cases and in confiscating cars and other tools used in acts of looting.

Integrated and Faster Approach to Geographic Lockdowns

CPD is actively partnering with city agencies to deploy new and enhanced ways to shut down geographies—including parts of the downtown core—in the event of another looting incident. These tactics include blocking and disabling vehicles as well as creating new hardened cityscapes (such as bollards and improved concrete structures) to limit movement.

Residents may notice some of these precautionary actions already in place. Concrete barricades and other deterrents will be placed around the downtown area that can be easily moved by the City to block streets if needed. The City will be practicing these strategies around the City beginning this week and through the summer.

Additionally, the City continues to deploy more than 100 infrastructure assets from the Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) and the Department of Water Management (DWM), who are working in concert with the Chicago Police Department to protect local commercial corridors.

I encourage residents to plan ahead if you will be traveling in the area on Saturday and stay tuned to Reilly Reports for more information. To receive emergency alerts for updates on street closures and public transportation, subscribe to Chicago’s text or email alert system at or follow OEMC on Facebook and Twitter.


Brendan Reilly

President Pro Tempore

Alderman, 42nd Ward