Chicago Sun-Times

Feds, Chicago po­lice seek­ing 18 peo­ple of in­ter­est re­lated to ar­sons dur­ing civil un­rest

- BY MITCHELL ARMENTROUT, STAFF RE­PORTER mar­men­trout@sun­times.com | @mitchtrout Crime · Incidents · Chicago Police Department · Minneapolis · Floyd · United States of America · Printer's Row, Chicago, IL · Young Buck · Austin · Cook County · World Trade Center · World Trade Center · Oklahoma City · Oklahoma · United States Department of Defense · Federal Bureau of Investigation · Englewood, Colorado · Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives · Galesburg, IL

Chicago po­lice and fed­eral au­thor­i­ties are look­ing for at least 18 peo­ple in con­nec­tion with dozens of ar­son cases span­ning the city in the days of civil un­rest that fol­lowed the Min­neapo­lis po­lice killing of Ge­orge Floyd.

Chicago’s top fed­eral prose­cu­tor, U.S. At­tor­ney John Lausch, said those peo­ple of in­ter­est have in­for­ma­tion about 53 separate cases of ar­son re­ported be­tween May 30 and June 3, each com­mit­ted by peo­ple “act­ing on the pe­riph­eral of peace­ful protests.”

The fires de­stroyed busi­nesses, cars and po­lice de­part­ment ve­hi­cles in neigh­bor­hoods from the West Side to the Loop and all the way to the Far South Side, Lausch said Tues­day along­side Chicago Po­lice Supt. David Brown, as au­thor­i­ties re­leased dozens of images and sur­veil­lance videos from the chaotic scenes.

One video shows a man ap­par­ently start­ing a fire in­side a ran­sacked con­ve­nience store in Austin and then walk­ing out. In an­other, some­one ig­nites de­bris near a stair­well in­side a store­front in En­gle­wood.

State of­fi­cials last week es­ti­mated that loot­ers and van­dals caused $20 mil­lion worth of dam­age across Cook County. Au­thor­i­ties haven’t put a price tag on the de­struc­tion in the city, but Brown said po­lice want to “seek jus­tice for the busi­ness own­ers and mem­bers of our com­mu­ni­ties who were af­fected by these ar­son cases.”

“Busi­ness own­ers across Chicago saw their hopes and dreams go up in flames,” the su­per­in­ten­dent said.

Mem­bers of the U.S. Bu­reau of Al­co­hol, To­bacco, Firearms and Ex­plo­sives’ Na­tional Re­sponse Team were ac­ti­vated in Chicago last month to help in­ves­ti­gate many of the fires. The spe­cial­ized fed­eral team has han­dled high-pro­file cases such as the 1993 World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing, the 1995 Ok­la­homa City fed­eral build­ing bomb­ing and the 9/11 at­tack on the Pen­tagon.

“De­tec­tives, in­ves­ti­ga­tors, ATF agents, cer­ti­fied fire in­ves­ti­ga­tors, in­tel­li­gence re­search spe­cial­ists and ca­nine teams, along with the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice, are work­ing tire­lessly to in­ves­ti­gate ev­ery lead that we re­ceive,” said Kris­ten deTi­neo, spe­cial agent in charge of the bu­reau’s Chicago field di­vi­sion. “We are not fin­ished.”

A Pilsen man al­ready has been hit with fed­eral ar­son charges for al­legedly set­ting fire to a Chicago po­lice ve­hi­cle while wear­ing a Joker mask at the on­set of the un­rest May 30.

Ad­di­tion­ally, at least six peo­ple have been charged with fed­eral gun crimes re­lated to Chicago’s un­rest, and a Gales­burg man also was hit with fed­eral charges for al­legedly mak­ing the trip to Chicago to loot and riot.

Au­thor­i­ties are ask­ing the pub­lic to re­view the pho­tos and videos. Tips can be sub­mit­ted anony­mously at atftips@atf.gov, (312) 7456233 or cpdtip.com.

 ?? PAT NABONG/SUN-TIMES ?? Po­lice Supt. David Brown stands be­side a col­lage of per­sons of in­ter­est be­ing sought in re­cent ar­son in­ci­dents dur­ing a Tues­day news con­fer­ence in Chicago.
PAT NABONG/SUN-TIMES Po­lice Supt. David Brown stands be­side a col­lage of per­sons of in­ter­est be­ing sought in re­cent ar­son in­ci­dents dur­ing a Tues­day news con­fer­ence in Chicago.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA