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Articles Tagged with looting

A Chicago man has been arrested for allegedly putting out a call on social media to loot during the civil unrest that gripped the city last August. James Massey, 22, has been charged with one count of inciting a riot. If convicted, he could face up to five years in federal prison

Calls for Violence Not Protected Under First Amendment

Calls to incite violence against either another person or their property is illegal. The First Amendment does not protect you from making credible, actionable threats, or encouraging others to do the same. The key words here are credible and actionable. If you have the means to carry out the threat or are calling upon others to help you carry out the threat, then you are in violation of laws that have been passed at both the federal and state level. 

Amid the George Floyd and Brianna Taylor protests, social unrest plagued America’s largest cities. Chicago was no exception. While some of these protests were going on, others took the opportunity to engage in burglary, theft, and destruction of property. Droves of people went block after block, looting one store after another. Four months after, detectives are still going over hour after hour of surveillance footage to identify individuals against whom they can file charges.

The police force is asking for tips on identifying suspects who were seen on camera looting Chicago stores. At the writing of this article, there have been over 1,300 tips based on over 100 clips of footage excavated from security feeds. Likewise, they have been monitoring online retail platforms like Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, and Facebook marketplace to determine if any of the stolen merchandise was placed for sale online. 

The effort has resulted in the arrests of over 100 people. Most are felony charges related to theft, looting, destruction of property, fencing stolen goods, and weapons charges.

The Chicago District Attorney’s Office will file charges against 42 people, they announced recently, but there is concern that several individuals who had no criminal record prior will now have enhanced felonies on their record.

One such individual is Steven Yates. Police say that they caught Yates handing out jewelry from a downtown store. When they attempted to apprehend him, he tried to escape through the back, only to find more cops. He turned around and attempted to barrel out of the front of the store when he ran into police commander Jill Stevens. Stevens was knocked to the ground. 

Yates will face felony charges for looting, burglary, and aggravated battery on a police officer. 

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