Wednesday, June 10, 2020

George Floyd Riots: Nationwide Looting and Destroying

Kneeling Democrats honoring the looters and rioters?
Catch me if you can? Chicago looters BRAG on Facebook about unloading stolen goods: After two weeks pillaging shops under the cover of George Floyd protests, over-confident looters are boasting about their hauls on Facebook. The police and FBI claim to be hot on their trail – but currently have their hands full.

As if the chaotic scenes of lawlessness were not enough for Chicago, a local TV network was shocked to discover looters brazenly showing off their hauls on social media. CBS affiliate WBBM reported on the phenomenon on Monday, airing excerpts of multiple clips posted by one woman, who apparently took part in a heist and documented it all in a Facebook Live.

Not only wasn’t she afraid of getting caught, but she also sought to shame Facebook users for sharing the videos with police. One video had been shared more than 6,000 times. According to police abolitionists like her, not getting robbed is now a white privilege and must be Destroyed.

While the looter wouldn’t speak with reporters – her friend blocked one journalist who made contact her on Facebook – she made it clear she didn’t expect to be punished, repeatedly filming a car trunk overflowing with purloined liquor and clothing. “I upload stolen shit 365 a year,” she bragged in one video shared by CBS, declaring she “don’t give no fucks” about “this shit.”

"I looted. I took all my shit. Yes!…This ain’t the motherfuckin’ first time I did this." The FBI put out a call last week for photos and videos of “unlawful activity”, and the Chicago Police Department belatedly requested video evidence of “unlawful encounters.”

After forwarding several Facebook Live videos of boastful looters to law enforcement, a reporter for the network claimed agents were “still actively working to review the tips,” with the FBI insisting “everyone” was being “reviewed by a person” with the aim of identifying the individuals concerned. Chicago police refused to comment on the brazen videos.

Neither agency was apparently asked whether they’d tried contacting the individuals whose accounts had posted the incriminating footage. In addition to requiring its users to use their real names, Facebook uses facial recognition algorithms to auto-tag people in photographs and videos, theoretically making law enforcement’s job much easier.

While other cities might balk at such a lackluster response to the open plundering of private property, Chicago has been wracked by historic levels of violence in recent weeks. Dozens of businesses have been looted and burned amid the massive nationwide protests against police brutality that kicked off on Memorial Day, when a white Minneapolis police officer killed unarmed black man George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for eight minutes.

On May 31, Chicago endured its most violent day since 1961, when the University of Chicago Crime Lab first began keeping track of such statistics. A shocking 18 people were fatally shot in a single 24-hour period, while the entire weekend saw 25 people killed and 85 wounded in shootings.

The number of emergency calls went through the roof as well, with more than 65,000 911 calls made, compared to the daily average of 15,000. The Chicago Police Department has attempted to address this appalling spike in criminal activity, issuing a statement on Monday via a spokesman.

“The level of activity experienced over the last week has been unprecedented, and the Department is actively investigating multiple incidents across the city and working to determine the motives in these cases,” the statement read, pledging the department was “actively working to seek justice for all the residents impacted, especially those who have been killed or injured by these senseless acts of violence.”

Some resale platforms have taken steps to crack down on likely looters. Sneaker resale site StockX told the LA Times last week that it would “take any available measures to prevent the sale of stolen goods on [its] platform,” while clothing resale hub Poshmark insisted it was “actively monitoring activity on our platform to ensure that stolen goods are not being sold,” but hadn’t yet seen any rise in “suspiciously sourced goods.”

A Los Angeles Apple store disabled the demo phones stolen by looters, leaving them unable to display anything beyond a shaming message asking the user to return the device to the store, and warning that, otherwise, “local authorities will be alerted.”

Whether those authorities will do anything with such alerts, however, is another matter. Urged to “do something better” during a conference call with 50 city aldermen by one who described his ward as a “virtual war zone,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the hapless politician “100 percent full of shit” and dismissed his concerns about violent rioting as “unsubstantiated rumors.” However, Lightfoot had already acknowledged she hadn’t “seen shit like this before, not in Chicago.”

As rioting engulfed her city, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot assured citizens that they could rely on the cops to protect them. But when councillors told her the real horror show on the ground, she swore and accused them of lying.

Rioting in Chicago kicked off in late May, several days after the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stores were looted in broad daylight on May 30 and, as night fell, six people had been shot, one of them fatally. 20 police officers were injured and 240 people arrested.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot called in the National Guard the following day, and secured a perimeter around the city’s downtown. Outside of downtown, though, the city’s poorer neighborhoods were left to burn, according to her aldermen.

In a conference call with all 50 Chicago aldermen that day, Lightfoot was hammered from all sides, a recording obtained by WTTV on Tuesday revealed. “My ward is a shit show,” one alderman said, before audibly weeping. “They are shooting at the police.”

“I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen shit like this before, not in Chicago,” Lightfoot remarked at one point. By far the testiest exchange was between Lightfoot and Alderman Ray Lopez, whose ward sits in the city’s crime-ridden southside. Lopez already told local media that Lightfoot dismissed his concerns about violent rioting as “unsubstantiated rumors,” and the recording of the conference call gives credence to his claims.

In the call, Lopez described his ward as “a virtual war zone,” where “gangbangers with AK-47s” were threatening to “settle some scores.” He slammed Lightfoot for allegedly suggesting that church leaders attempt to mediate with the rioters, demanding that she “do something better.”

“I think you’re 100 percent full of shit,” Lightfoot replied, denying any responsibility for the chaos. “Well, fuck you then,” Lopez shot back, before telling Lightfoot to “check your fucking attitude.” At the call’s conclusion, Lightfoot asked the aldermen to “pray for us all.”

Lightfoot was more reassuring when she spoke to the public. After reports surfaced of bands of men, mostly white, protecting their neighborhoods with weapons, Lightfoot reminded them that “if there’s an issue, call 911.”

Hours before her strained phone call, Lightfoot got into a public spat with President Donald Trump, accusing him of trying to “inflame racist urges” by threatening to take action against rioters in Minneapolis. "I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump,” she said. “It’s two words. It begins with ‘f’ and it ends with ‘you’.”

As she spoke to her aldermen, Lightfoot’s city experienced its most violent weekend of 2020 so far. 85 people were shot, 24 fatally. Sunday, the day of the phone call, was the city’s bloodiest day in six decades, with 18 murders in 24 hours. The following weekend was also a veritable bloodbath, with 35 people shot and one killed.

Still, Lightfoot has set her sights on pursuing police reform instead of expansion. Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, she said that she would announce some “pretty monumental reforms” soon.

Project Veritas has released new “undercover footage” from its investigation into the controversial Antifa (anti-fascist) movement which shows organizers schooling newbies on violent tactics to deploy during riots.

PV founder James O’Keefe said the expose shows “just how far the group will go to engage in physical combat, evade arrests and promote the most damage possible on the streets.” Footage shows one “fight instructor” at the New York-based Antifa chapter, named only as Chris, informing training session participants that “if you get a good liver or kidney shot, it’s pretty much crippling” to the victim.

Chris also advises people to aim for the floating ribs which are “very painful” if broken. “One good body shot could potentially give you all the time in the world to run away while they’re doubled over in pain,” he says. The training session is described as “a safe space to practice aggression” and to harness aggressive energy.

In footage previously released by PV on Thursday, one alleged Antifa organizer from a Portland faction said its goal was “to get out there and do dangerous things as safely as possible.” Another suggested using the “eye gouge” to debilitate opponents.

US President Donald Trump threatened to declare Antifa a “terrorist organization” last week, while Attorney General William Barr has warned of “extremist agitators who are hijacking the protests” to pursue a “separate and violent agenda.” Protests have gripped hundreds of US cities following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, with some demonstrations subsequently turning violent.

Antifa, which is not officially a structured organization with membership, bills itself as an anti-fascist protest movement. While many adherents do not promote or engage in violence, some of its factions are more militant, seeing violence as justified to carry out their aims. Some have also accused right-wing agitator groups of posing as part of the movement in order to promote violence.

(Blogger's Notes: George Floyd, a big black man, tried to pass a counterfeit twenty-dollar note and police was called and the rest was history. All my time in New York City I have nearly-daily witnessed so many crimes some serious and mostly petty crimes like passing counterfeit notes and turnstile jumping at subway stations.

Forget about the subway fare evasion as most black teenagers do all the time but the counterfeit notes are real annoying. ATMs issue only twenty-dollar notes and every shop refuses to take fifty-dollar and one-hundred-dollar notes. At my local supermarkets the checkout girls or guys simply refuse to take even twenty-dollar notes if they suspect the notes are counterfeit.

I have seen so many times black kids trying to pass a counterfeit note in New York and LA but have never witnessed someone calling police on the offenders. Probably in George Floyd case the shop called the police as he was supposedly a repeat offender. A petty criminal is now a dead hero for ANTIFA and the BLM movement.)