On Chicago’s first day that eased the coronavirus restrictions on city corporations, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Supervisor David Brown expressed hope that the civil unrest over George Floyd’s death calmed. But, they said, the city is still on guard against both COVID-19 disease and looting.
Lightfoot’s decision means that local restaurants can be opened again with outdoor dining, shops can welcome customers, companies with personalized services such as lounges and barbershops can be opened and other companies that hotels can start operating. All companies will be subject to reduced capacity and strict rules designed to prevent COVID-1
Access to downtown Chicago was also restored Wednesday. Metra, which has been out of service since Monday morning, resumed a modified schedule on most routes and CTA started bus and rail links to the city center, although some train stops in or near the city center will remain closed, according to the city.
The city-wide curfew for all residents and visitors, from 10 am. 9am to 6am, remains in effect until further notice.
Here are the latest developments:
07:42 p.m .: Family claims brutal police officer with knee on neck in Chicago arrest captured on video
Tnika Tate, 39, said she parked near a looted mall on Sunday when Chicago police surrounded the vehicle, broke the windows and searched Tate and a group of four friends and relatives in the car with her.
Tate said an officer restricted his cousin Mia Wright, 25, by placing a knee on Wright’s neck while she was leaning on the ground. Wright was charged with disorderly conduct and released on Monday, according to police and family.
A video of part of the incident was taken by family friend James Smith, 40, who was driving in a second car. A copy of the video was first published by the non-profit digital news organization Block Club Chicago, and Smith gave the Tribune a copy later on Wednesday.
“She never objected. It could have been something deadly, Tate told the Tribune on Wednesday.
Wright declined to comment. The use of knees to keep someone in police custody has been under investigation across the country since George Floyd died after being detained by a Minneapolis officer who used his knee to confine Floyd.
Police spokeswoman Kellie Bartoli said Wright was being held in custody and charged with unauthorized conduct after she was observed by responding officers “composed of three or more persons for the purpose of using force or force to disturb the peace.” Read more here. —David Jackson
6:56 p.m .: Full tables on Randolph Street – but many restaurants are still on board
Although many of the restaurants on Randolph Street’s Restaurant Row were on board, those open to outdoor dining had full tables with people eating and drinking wine under tents set up on the sidewalk. The route is one of six streets chosen by the city to be closed to accommodate additional outdoor dining, but obviously the area is not clear.
Restaurants like Jaipur and Forno Rosso were open, while power plants such as Girl & the Get and Lena Brava were not yet hosting outdoor food.
Dozens of people walked with their dogs, ran or turned in a row to collect orders from restaurants and liquor stores. Some wore masks, but most did not.
Nearby on Morgan Street, Bar Takito’s sidewalk tables were full, with a range of beautiful eaters waiting. —Grace Wong
06:35 p.m .: Caravan of cars draws attention to police brutality
Hundreds of vehicles circled through a busy stretch of Bronzeville, with motorists putting their horns or waving signs from open windows to show support for the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Along 35th Street near the Chicago Police Department of Public Safety headquarters on South Michigan Avenue, lots of people of different ages and ethnicities circled through small business moves while pedestrians took pictures or hewed them off the sidewalk.
A cadre of police officers formed a barricade around the building and held motorists to Indiana Avenue and King Drive.
The caravan was organized by several activist organizations, including the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression, Black Lives Matter Chicago and Southsiders for Unity and Liberation.
The peaceful car protest – as well as recent protests against conditions in the county jail during the COVID-19 outbreak – was set up to alert police brutality after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police. His death from apparent asphyxiation after an officer kneeled on his neck has started worrying and looting across the country. —William Lee
6:22 p.m .: New gigantic patio opens in West Loop and people are ready for it
Two inflatable plumbers – one red, one blue – danced chaotically in front of Recess on Wednesday afternoon, signaling that the brand new patio had opened and was ready for customers. A sign out confirmed it.
Originally part of the town hall, the 14,000 square foot patio in the West Loop is now part of Recess, a restaurant and bar. It was reclassified when Joe Manna, the CEO, realized that the name was confusing to guests, who continued to find government offices instead of the restaurant.
Two hours after opening Wednesday, Recess already had more than 100 guests, with the majority of reservations not yet to arrive. The reservations for this weekend’s brunch are already full. The bar closes on Wednesday at. 8 pm so people can come home before curfew.
Diners have been pretty good at wearing their masks, and sometimes when they leave their table and forget, they return to put on them.
“So many people in this area have seen this place go up and wait for the patio to be open,” Manna said. “So many people have been like” at last. “
“This site is a little more fun,” he said, noting the politics of Chicago with its menu items.
The design of the former parking lot was recently completed, and the design is a tribute to the neighborhood, with more than 30 stacked shipping containers perimeter to create a more exclusive feel while remaining functional for seating and bar.
Recess serves a limited menu with plans to expand, but for the moment, they focus on sandwiches, appetizers and salads, plus frozen cocktails and other releases. Guests who spend more than $ 10 on food can even get a free haircut.
Although they have built more levels of space since the building was opened last summer, they quickly ended their last hand when they heard the governor’s order two weeks ago.
He said employees are happy to come back to work and customers are happy to eat out again.
“The goal here is to get some positivity right now,” Manna said. —Grace Wong
6:11 p.m .: Wrigleyville wakes up with classic bars filled
The old standbys showed up in Wrigleyville for Wednesday’s resumption of business, while relative newcomers – including all of the Hotel Zachary properties – were on.
Surroundings such as Murphys Bleachers and Deuces + Diamonds were well occupied, with more guests arriving as time moved on at 5pm. Clark Street was almost like what it would look like on a “normal” week night, with lots of hikers, joggers, cyclists, dogs – works.
At Deuce’s, which has a large patio adjacent to the bar, general manager Jasper Robinson said they opened for lunch and had a decent crowd all day.
The bar has a limited menu right now, as operators were preparing a complete food order following the civil unrest in the area this past weekend. They just wanted to make sure the bar could open on Wednesday before all orders were made.
Murphy’s Bleachers, located on the other side of Wrigley, ran enough to even have a short while. However, social distancing applied between the patio tables in the back as well as in the front line.
Michael Baruch and Madison Shelist live in the neighborhood and said they had predicted today’s resumption. After seeing what was open, they contented themselves with Murphys.
“That’s the neighborhood,” Baruch said simply. —Adam Lukach
5:41 p.m .: Pritzker adds another 5 counties to disaster relief following unrest
The Government J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday added five counties to a disaster proclamation aimed at boosting recovery efforts in areas of the state that have seen or can see unrest or looting in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Pritzker added Lake, Peoria, Rock Island, Stephenson and Williamson counties to the disaster proclamation he issued on Monday for several other counties in the state, including Cook, Du Page and Will.
Counties included in the disaster proclamation are areas where there is “a threat of looting or destruction through planned protests”, local jurisdictions that have requested state resources or have “critical infrastructure,” according to a news release released by Pritzker’s office Wednesday night.
Pritzker activated 375 Illinois National Guard members on Sunday to help the Chicago Police Department help enforce street closures. An additional 250 guard members were activated on Monday to arrange at facilities around the state while awaiting Illinois State Police deployment instructions.
The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield oversees state response operations and processes requests from local authorities. —Jamie Munks
05:13 p.m .: Saved by a large patio and large shade trees in Hyde Park
Alexander Argirov has been through a lot since his Ascione Bistro restaurant opened last year at 1500 E. 55th St. in Hyde Park. The original plan was just to eat in, with emphasis on their spacious patio, shaded by large trees. Now, the outdoor space is the key to bouncing back after the damage that the pandemic caused to its business.
“I feel really bad for other people in the industry who don’t have room for it,” he said, adding that other restaurants in the neighborhood would have to resort to putting tables and chairs on the sidewalk, which requires different permits and licenses.
During the pandemic, he had to adjust the Italian restaurant’s menu to ensure that the food would travel well. He added family meals and specials and rented servers as a delivery driver. Now he divides the deal between eating on the patio and pickup or delivery, and none of them were part of the original plan.
“We can’t survive if people don’t eat dinner,” he said. “We have adapted everything so that we can grow in a different way, but we want to return to normal when of course everything is ready.”
David Barlow, 31, who lives downtown, had dinner with a friend at Ascione Bistro on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m just glad they’re open, it’s time,” Barlow said. “All these other deals will fail if they don’t open. We were at another restaurant in Schaumburg a week ago and their seating was like 100 tables and now they are down at 14, and it’s a bit like a slaughter of shops. I feel bad for them. ” —Grace Wong
17:05: Shopping malls affected by looting and vandalism appear to open next week instead
Sandy Sigal, President and CEO of NewMark Merrill Companies, said he believes most stores in NewMark Merrill’s malls that were not already open because important companies will delay reopening due to the unrest in Chicago.
“Nobody wants a false reopening,” he said. “In the normal system, we would promote tenants through our own social media. It does not feel appropriate, and we cannot, with good conscience, encourage people to enter areas with curfews, where things can change from minute to minute. “
Two of the NewMark Merrill shopping malls in the Chicago area suffered the most minor injuries. At Stony Island Plaza, 14 of 20 stores were broken into and vandalized, from a Jewel-Osco that was just remodeled last year to Foot Locker to H&R Block, he said. Winston Plaza in Melrose Park had some broken windows.
Neighborhood groups helped clean up on Monday, and meanwhile, Sigal said that stores in their malls are opening windows and blocking entrances and exits to make it tougher for people who are destined to do damage to get in and out quickly.
“This was not good for our momentum this week,” Sigal said. “Hopefully we can focus more on opening again next week.” —Lauren Zumbach
5:02 p.m .: Lightfoot signs on pledge organized by Obama to review the use of violence policy
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has signed a pledge organized by former President Barack Obama to review the city’s use of violence policy.
Obama held a town hall where he talked about race and policing amid unrest following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. He asked mayors across the country to sign a pledge to review their city’s use of violence policy, engage communities for their input, report their results and reform policy.
An official from the Obama Foundation then announced that Lightfoot was an early adopter.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, Lightfoot presented a series of long-standing police reform measures that she wants to implement within 90 days, which include teaching Chicago police about the history of neighborhoods learned from community members’ perspectives, inspired by youth-led neighborhood tours made by My Block, My Hood, My City.
The city will also implement an official wellness program and complete an officer support program that supports police officers in crisis, mandate crisis intervention and procedural justice training for all officers, and establish a new police-community relations and community policing program with views on what works, she said. .
But these measures have drawn criticism for not going far enough, and Lightfoot’s administration is in conflict with activists over how a civilian police monitoring commission would work, with critics wanting more power given to people outside the city hall.
Lightfoot has a long, complicated history in the local police reform movement. She is a former federal prosecutor who led the board that oversees police discipline and the chair of the Police Accountability Task Force formed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But she is often criticized by activists as a pro-police. —Gregory Pratt
4:46 p.m .: Small Northwest Side stores return after shutting down pandemic slowed by recent unrest
The lights are slowly flashing in the small warehouses that extend down Fullerton Avenue west of Kimball Avenue.
But in this modest microcosm of The City that Works, lined with mom-and-pop restaurants and independent clothing stores, many stores remained at the end of Wednesday. Other stores planned to close long before sunset, with the owners concerned about the safety of their staff and the viability of their operations.
Armando Pantoja said his Festa Pizzeria restaurant, 3525 W. Fullerton Ave., was attacked on Sunday night by scrapers demanding free pizza and throwing chairs before they spread.
A nearby pawn shop and a liquor store were targeted by burglars who broke windows on Sunday, he and other business owners said. And so he closed early and went through the lively evening hours.
“I lost more business with the protests than the virus,” says Pantoja, who said he has owned Festa for almost 18 years.
The small restaurant was open but weak Wednesday morning, with plywood covering the windows. “Through the pandemic, we were okay, but this new thing – you can’t be sure,” he said.
After a contest of more than two months, hairdresser Yolanda Hernandez said she was relieved to be back at her chair at Darlene’s Unisex, 3442 W Fullerton. But Hernandez said she closed the store early in the afternoon Wednesday because of the violence that ravaged nearby businesses Sunday night.
“I’m afraid of what’s going on,” Hernandez said. “I feel safe against the virus, but it’s scary to see all these people running around and taking things from companies that work hard.” Read more here. —David Jackson
4:33 p.m .: Pizzerias open for shops along North Michigan Avenue
Outdoor dining along North Michigan Avenue is sparse at any time considering the expensive properties. The damage to several storage sites during the looting last weekend took a toll. But Labriola Chicago (535 N. Michigan Ave.), the pizza and sandwich restaurant just off the head, was open for outdoor dining on Wednesday.
On the walkway built across Grand Avenue, Labriola has a patio for more than 60 people, more than half of the restaurant’s capacity. In the middle of the afternoon, only two tables were taken. Still, Matthew Graham, CEO, was grateful that he opened again to dine on the spot.
“Mag Mile is not what anyone expected right now. We hope it will be put back together, “Graham said, referring to the unrest. “It’s an unfortunate time, hopefully this is the first step in things to come back.”
On the other side of Michigan Avenue and hanging along a walkway behind Trump Tower, Bongiorno’s Cucina and Italiana & Pizzeria had served eight tables outside by mid-afternoon.
“If it wasn’t for this building, I don’t think we would have these windows,” explained Elizabeth Bongiorno, co-owner of Bongiorno’s, when she looked back at Trump Tower. Without the extra police presence near the building during the unrest, she believes the windows would have been broken. “Many restaurants can’t even open because they’ve lost everything, so we’re pretty happy we’re here.”
Two police officers could be seen inside the pizza and ordered recovery. “They know a lot of us, we know a lot of them,” she said, nodding to the officers.
Before the coronavirus was closed, the restaurant saw many sales go to businessmen who worked in office buildings in the area. The restaurant is now limited to residential customers. But Bongiorno said she had field calls Wednesday afternoon about reservations for the evening. —Kasondra Van Treek
4:12 p.m .: At Wheaton rally, reflections on racial justice locally and across the country
Carmin Awadzi came to a Black Lives Matter rally in Wheaton Wednesday for fear. Two of her children would, and she wanted to make sure nothing bad happened to them. She even told her 16-year-old son to wear his Wheaton Warrenville South High School jersey as he walked out the door so people would know he belonged.
“It’s our lives every day here in Wheaton,” she said. “And I have to explain it to people – people we have known for a long time, educated people who are professional. My husband and I are in 1 percent but it still doesn’t matter. “
The rally, held at Wheaton’s Adams Park, attracted a diverse, young-skewed crowd of hundreds who listened to speakers and offered their analyzes and reflections on racial justice throughout America and close to home.
A middle-aged white man speaking through a bull horn described how his eyes had been opened to the statistically verified disadvantages that African Americans endured in the United States. He described a meeting where he recently discovered a broken taillight on a car driven by a black man and rushed to let him know.
“We both knew why I did it,” he said. “I won’t be pulled over for that. He will. And if an angry cop pulls him off, it might not go well. A $ 4 brake light (may have) saved his life, and that has to change. “
Isaiah Ross, a black man who grew up in Wheaton and now lives in Carol Stream, said he has had many unpleasant encounters with police throughout DuPage County, which has a black population of just 5 percent.
“Most of my experiences have been dissatisfaction,” he said. “I can clearly see that this is not really a problem. Why am I pressed so hard? “
But he and Awazdi said they were moved by the Wheaton incident and the larger movement protesting the police killings of George Floyd and other black Americans, and were hopeful that things would soon be different.
“These young kids, the millennials, I think it’s definitely going to be a change,” Awazdi said before the crowd marched to Wheaton City Hall past many targeted businesses. “I’m inspired by it.” —John Keilman
15:58 p.m .: Chicago leaders are cautiously optimistic as the city opens again amid reassuring protests
At Chicago’s first day that eased the coronavirus restrictions on city corporations, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Chief David Brown expressed hope that the city’s civil unrest calmed.
But, they said, the city is still on guard against both COVID-19 disease and looting.
“We are still just a day where we have a certain calming activity of looting and disorder. We don’t let go of our guard, Brown said. “We are cautiously optimistic but prepared for this to escalate in case it does.”
The city keeps all of its resources in place, including the National Guard, and makes strategic adjustments to ensure residents in the neighborhood feel safe, “given the plunder,” Brown said.
Still, after being prepared for widespread looting in downtown and neighborhoods over the weekend, Chicago on Tuesday experienced its quietest night of protests since they began, Brown said. Officials also recorded the lowest number of arrests since the weekend, with 274, Brown said.
The city also had the lowest number of robbery calls and arrests, he said. There were 46 unpleasant arrests, he said, mostly for people who threw stones or verbally attacked the city’s police officers. Read more here. —Gregory Pratt
3:50 p.m .: Feed to eat on the South Side
About 2:00 pm Original Soul Vegetarian, a vegetarian restaurant on 75th Street on Chicago’s South Side, had a line out its doors. Nearby, Lems Bar-B-Q, which is strictly implemented, had plenty of cars in its parking lot.
Along 75th Street, appliances, restaurants and retailers had signs in their windows with green, red and white letters that read “Black Owned Business” and “Destroy Our Black Business.” Others had metal grilles installed at the front.
The surroundings around these South Side stalwarts were relatively quiet Wednesday afternoon. A man wearing a red ball gown grew his car vigorously while a family unloaded groceries from their maroon van nearby.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced last week that the city would open streets for outdoor seating in six pilot corridors, but additional information on when those corridors would open was difficult to catch on Wednesday afternoon. In a statement, the Chicago Department of Transportation said it and business issues and consumer protection work with local organizations and businesses to implement this plan.
Although 75th Street from Calumet Avenue to Indiana Avenue was named one of the pedestrians, cars were still forgotten through this lively stretch Wednesday. And Carmen Lemons, owner of Lems Bar-B-Q, said they plan to keep it that way.
“We can’t afford to close 75th Street because the street is too busy,” she said. “They will have tables on the side and stuff but I can’t have tables in front of my store simply because we have the line. We participate but there is a certain limit.” —Grace Wong
3:36 p.m .: 4 Minneapolis police officers are now charged with George Floyd’s death
Prosecutors charged a Minneapolis police officer who was accused of pushing his knee against George Floyd’s neck with second-degree murder on Wednesday, and for the first time leveled charges against three other officers on the scene, according to criminal records.
The upgraded charge against Derek Chauvin says the officer’s actions were a “major cause” of Floyd’s death.
“Officer Chauvin’s restraint on Floyd in this way for a long period was a major cause of Floyd’s loss of consciousness, constituted significant bodily harm and even Floyd’s death,” the criminal complaint said. Read more here. –Impartial Press
3:33 p.m .: Store owners balance reopening with security issues. “COVID-19 is still here after all that happens.”
Fleur owner Kelly Marie Thompson said she planned to stay closed Wednesday to show support for people protesting systemic racism.
But Logan Square, which expects to be open, had already taken flowers for birthdays and graduations, and she did not want to interrupt her customers.
“We are trying to find out the best way to respect everyone in the middle of a pandemic,” she said.
Still, Thompson said she’s not ready to start letting customers come back to the store until she has a better sense of whether customers still pay attention to social distance and wear masks. She also worried that protests could lead to a powerful force in cases.
“We really want to make sure everyone is aware of COVID-19 is still here despite everything that happens,” she said.
Thompson takes a cautious approach, though she remains “very nervous” about the store’s economy.
Fleur did some business online before the pandemic forced stores that were not necessary to close. Thompson lost most of her wedding business, which she expected to account for about half of sales this year due to ongoing restrictions on large gatherings. She also decided to expand the store in January and double the rent.
“I told myself early on to stay positive, do everything I can and stay healthy, and I still will,” she said. —Lauren Zumbach
3:27 p.m .: An owner of a clothing store in Bronzeville is unsure about opening again
Hak Tong Kim had been looking forward to welcoming customers back to his Bronzeville clothing store when the city slowly reopened this week, but on Wednesday, he was still rolling from the looting that was cleaning out his shop Sunday night.
Kim is an immigrant from South Korea and has had City Fashion for nine years and has loved the store, but now he is questioning whether to open again.
“Right now I don’t feel like it,” said Kim, exhausted after barely sleeping since Sunday.
Kim, who was in front of his store with a wrench to try to protect it Sunday night until it became too dangerous, estimates he lost $ 350,000. He said he did not have insurance coverage because he was in the middle of researching more affordable insurance.
“It’s so stupid,” he said angrily as he stood outside his shop, where inside volunteers helped clean up. His friends abroad who were initially sympathetic to the cause had changed after seeing the vandalism.
A saving grace has been a GoFundMe collection organized by his children. He was shocked when he saw that it had collected $ 40,000 in one day. –Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
3:23 p.m .: Ukrainian village switches up while Wicker Park sleeps
The uber-popular food and beverage corridors in Division Street and Milwaukee Avenue in the Ukrainian village and Wicker Park had a mixed choice exit.
The stretch of Milwaukee Avenue between North Avenue and Division Street was virtually absent from the sidewalk sets Wednesday afternoon. After people caused property damage hit the area hard Sunday night, part of the fallout from the killing of George Floyd, most of the companies remained on board without clear signage about reopens.
As of 2:15 p.m., SUVs for the Chicago Police Department blocked SUF traffic between North and Ashland roads “until further notice” by an officer at the scene, which was all he could reveal.
The scene was very different along the Division, as restaurants including Mac’s Wood Grilled, Black Hole Bar, Janik’s Cafe and more already had seating for afternoon guests. At the Black Hole Bar, Brendan O’Donnell acknowledged some “horror” before heading out on Wednesday.
“It was definitely a bit strange,” O’Donnell said while having a drink with a friend. “It was almost as if we weren’t sure what to do when we got here. It’s been a weird two and a half months.”
Between Ashland and Western, restaurants as far west as Fifty / 50 Bar patios had open and ready for customers this afternoon. –Adam Lukach
3:16 p.m .: Further north on Milwaukee Avenue, more customers are charging. “I just had to get out of the house.”
On the northern side of Milwaukee Avenue on Wednesday, there were fewer windows and more restaurants, barbershops and shops open for business.
Earth Rider Bicycle owner Sharon Kaminecki decided to risk leaving her windows on board as there are few other stores in her neighborhood.
Earth Rider remained open as a major business during the shutdown of COVID-19 and bicycle sales have been up during the pandemic, she said. The unrest following the killing of George Floyd did not seem to keep people away. The store was busy enough on Tuesday that a customer decided to come back on Wednesday, when it was quieter.
Kaminecki still hopes that more companies in the area will open soon. Earth Rider öppnade förra året, och ibland upptäcker människor butiken när de går till en närliggande restaurang eller yogastudio, sa hon.
Människor som shoppade på Milwaukee Avenue onsdag hade vissa långvariga oro över pandemin, men var inte oroliga för oroligheterna.
”Jag behövde bara komma ut ur huset,” sade Stephanie Fenza, 56, från Logan Square, och tittade på Family Thrift Store tidigt på onsdag eftermiddag.
Fenza sa att hon saknar att gå på restauranger, något hon brukade göra fem eller sex gånger i veckan, men hon tvekar fortfarande att äta ute. Shopping, där hon kan hålla avstånd från andra, verkade säkrare.
Lisa Rubio, 33, från Logan Square, som hämtade mat till sin parakit på Jules Pet Shop, var angelägen om att butiker och parker öppnade igen.
“Jag behöver sommarkläder för mina barn och min sons åttondexamen,” sa hon.
Hon håller sitt avstånd från andra när hon är ute på allmänheten men var inte orolig för oroligheterna så länge hon kan vara hemma vid stadens 9 kl. curfew.
Luis Perez, ägare av Fundamental Body Piercing, hade blandade känslor av att åter öppna mitt i fallet från Floyds död, men var inte orolig för sin verksamhets säkerhet.
“If I didn’t need the money, I would be out showing support,” he said.
But Perez, of Humboldt Park, said he couldn’t afford to stay closed, especially when rules meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 mean he can only work with one client at a time, down from a maximum of seven.
His first three days are fully booked, he said.
“People can’t wait to take care of themselves and buy something that makes them feel good,” he said. –Lauren Zumbach
3:07 p.m.: Local chamber is working to help its members
Out of the 1,500 businesses in the area covered by the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, more than 50 have boarded up because they had windows broken or were broken into during the unrest over the weekend, said the chamber’s executive director, Pamela Maass.
The chamber is trying to help some businesses file police reports. Some had trouble submitting them because the online system was swamped with reports, she said. Others are seeking legal assistance because they feel their landlords didn’t do enough to protect them by boarding up buildings, she said.
But others are eagerly moving ahead with reopening and requesting permits for outdoor dining.
The decision depends not only on whether the business suffered damage or is in a particularly hard-hit area, but also where employees live and whether they can safely get to and from work, she said.
“It’s really case by case,” she said.
While the damage may keep some businesses closed longer than they hoped, Maass said she was confident the unrest wouldn’t keep consumers away.
“The proof was in the activity Monday morning,” she said. “There were hundreds of people in the neighborhood helping clean up.” —Lauren Zumbach
3 p.m.: In Batavia, a call for involvement: ‘Being not racist is not enough.’
A crowd estimated to be as large as 1,500 filled the Batavia Riverwalk park at noon as protest organizers spoke and sang songs from a covered porch serving as a stage.
Among those speaking was Devin Couturier, who addressed the concept of her white privilege, telling the mostly white crowd the movement “isn’t about us, but it exists because of us, because black people have been fighting for justice for hundreds of years. … Being not racist is not enough.”
“If you’re more outraged by a Target being looted but not outraged by a target put on black people’s back in America, then you are part of the problem,” she said to a roar from the crowd.
Other speakers stressed the need to better listen to the concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement, and to get involved.
State Rep. Karina Villa, D-Batavia, called on people to get involved: “You are the boss of me. And if you’re not calling me to tell me that you’re mad, there’s something wrong.”
Among the hundreds in the park was Maya Tubic, who emigrated from Croatia in 1995 and has lived in Batavia for five years. She brought her 10-year-old son and friends, after a heated debate on Facebook with others who questioned the point and complained it could invite problems. She said it was important “just to stand up and speak with these people and break the silence, the inactivity.”
Helping lead the event was Isabella Irish, an 18-year-old recent high school graduate who implored the crowd to leave peacefully but with resolve.
“You keep saying it’s horrible that innocent blacks were killed but destroying property has to stop. Try saying it’s horrible that property is being destroyed but killing innocent black men has to stop. We must stop prioritizing the wrong parts,” she said.
As the event was ending about 2 p.m., Police Chief Daniel Eul stood at the back, with officers stationed at the far edges of the event.
Before the event began, the city posted on its website that the organizers had cooperated with the city but the city couldn’t permit it, in part because of COVID-19 restrictions, and had imposed a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. At the end, event organizers thanked the department, with one organizer handing the chief one of many flowers distributed to the crowd as they left.
Eul told the Tribune that there had be no major problems. Although the department remained concerned because of problems in other suburbs, he was hopeful that was less likely in Batavia.
“The people who are organizing these initiatives are taking them back from the people who co-opted them for their own purposes. I don’t think the people that were causing the damage were the people trying to effect this change.” –Joe Mahr
2:51 p.m.: Cleanup begins in Bronzeville
A sea of boarded up windows greeted volunteers who descended upon the Lake Meadows Shopping Center in Bronzeville Wednesday to help clean up after vandals broke windows and looted most of the stores in the complex. Neither the Walgreens nor the UPS Store nor the nail salon nor the women’s clothing shop had been spared.
Michelee Harrell, 42, who lives nearby, had been looking forward to possibly grabbing a drink at a bar or sitting on a restaurant patio, as Chicago eased restrictions on businesses sidelined for more than two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, she was picking up litter and sweeping up debris, and even stores that had previously been open are closed indefinitely.
“I think we’re getting further and further away from normal,” she said.
But the mood was not dour as people from across the city arrived to see how they could help.
Joy Williams, an artist and community organizer behind the cleanup, stood before a stack of water, paper towels and garbage bags and directed people to the areas in greatest need, suggesting some people head further south to Roseland.
“This gave everyone an opportunity to come together and take care of the community in a way that needed to happen,” said Williams, 21, who lives in South Shore. “The South Side needed to be cleaned up years ago.”
Though she was sad about the destruction of businesses, she said “it had to take something so drastic for people to come together to make change.”
Williams was heartened to see volunteers from Lakeview and elsewhere on the North Side show up ready to work, as engaging them had been difficult previously.
“They are very humbly trying to help and they feel remorseful,” she said. “This is a moment of solidarity and I’m really seeing that.” –Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
1:58 p.m.: In Logan Square, one of Chicago’s biggest dining regions, reopening moves slowly
In northern parts of Logan Square at about lunchtime, preparations noticeably were being made at restaurants like the Harding Tavern, Longman and Eagle and Cafe con Leche.
At the corner of Sawyer and Milwaukee avenues, Old Plank was making the most of its huge windows. While many nearby restaurants and businesses have boarded windows as a preventative security measure, Esam Hani, the owner of One of a Kind Hospitality which operates Old Plank, said the fact that his restaurant’s outer walls were more than 50% windows helped it open sooner. By city regulation, restaurants with dining space within 8 feet of such windows can open for outdoor dining. Hani also oversees other restaurants on that stretch of Milwaukee Avenue, and Old Plank has been the first one to reopen.
“This (property), we were a lot closer to being ready, so this one is first,” Hani said. “But it’s not as easy as flipping a switch. We’re trying to get employees back right now, but a lot of them are making more money on unemployment right now than they did here. … We also have to teach everyone coming back new safety operations.”
Payton Orr and JD Mathys were sitting at a high-top table perched next to one of the restaurant’s massive windows. Neither of them said they felt particularly worried about COVID in the context of dining out, and they wanted to support the restaurants as long as they are open.
“I’m a little afraid we’re reopening too soon and everything will have to close again, but I also want these businesses to be able to be open as long as they can,” Orr said.
“I think people should be more concerned about the tens of thousands of people walking through the neighborhood without masks every day,” added Mathys.
That was about it for Logan Square in the early afternoon. South of Logan Boulevard, no restaurants were open, or even preparing to do so. —Adam Lukach
1:44 p.m.: Downtown Chicago restaurants mostly staying closed
Most of downtown is fairly quiet, with many restaurants still closed. A few places, like Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse (1028 N. Rush St.) and Maple & Ash (8 W. Maple St.), said they were considering opening Thursday.
Lettuce Entertain You, the city’s largest restaurant group, held off on opening Wednesday and will release a list of planned opening dates Thursday.
But David Flom, the managing partner at Chicago Cut Steakhouse (300 N. LaSalle Drive), says the restaurant has been extremely busy since opening this morning.
“We already have a 100 people here on the patio,” says Flom. “We also have a lot of reservations scheduled for tonight.”
He says they’ve been preparing for days to make sure the restaurant met all the guidelines from the city and state, including spacing the tables 6 feet apart, putting up plexiglass where it’s needed and having set walking paths for customers.
“The entire staff is also wearing masks,” adds Flom.
Wishbone (161 N. Jefferson St.) was open at lunchtime with three people sitting on the shaded outdoor patio. General manager Saskia Rivera said they had been getting calls about reservations.
When it comes to social distancing, Rivera’s goal is to take care of staff and customers “in the restaurant while keeping an eye on customers waiting outside for a table.”
By mid-afternoon the restaurant had had just a total of seven dine-in customers. —Nick Kindelsperger and Kasondra Van Treeck
1:39 p.m.: Minnesota AG to upgrade murder charge against officer in George Floyd’s death, charge 3 other officers with abetting, reports say
Prosecutors are charging a Minneapolis police officer accused of pressing his knee against George Floyd’s neck with second-degree murder, and for the first time will level charges against three other officers at the scene, The Star Tribune reported Wednesday.
Widely seen bystander video showing Floyd’s May 25 death has sparked sometimes violent protests nationwide and around the world. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired May 26 and initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers involved were also fired but were not immediately charged.
The Star Tribune reported reported that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison would be upgrading the charge against Chauvin while also charging Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. The newspaper cited multiple law enforcement sources familiar with the case that spoke on condition of anonymity.
Earl Gray, who represents Lane, told The Associated Press that the report “is accurate” before ending the call. Read more here. –Associated Press
1:15 p.m.: Marchers call for united between African American and Lantinx communities
About hundred people gathered in Little Village Wednesday morning and marched down 26th Street, calling for unity between the African American and Latinx communities.
“We will not allow them to divide us,” said Laura Ramirez of El Foro Del Pueblo, one of the protest organizers. “We are here to say enough is enough.”
At Wednesday’s march Jai Simpson of GoodKids MadCity called for peace and mutual respect.
“This is a new age, the age where black and brown are one because of our similarities.” Simpson said. “Both black and brown communities on the South and West sides of Chicago are affected by environmental racism, racial discrimination and systematic discrimination”
The group marched from the arch in Little Village to Pulaski Avenue and back, working to maintain six feet social distancing.
Organizers reminded marchers that Little Village has some of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the city. On returning to the arch near Albany Avenue, the marchers knelt in silence. –Sophie Sherry
12:47 p.m.: North Side customers show up for breakfast at restaurant patios
While some restaurants geared up to open for dinner service later in the day on Wednesday, many breakfast joints said they wouldn’t open until later this week or next week, citing confusion around the rules and regulations that would allow them to seat diners outside. Lost Larson, a bakery in Andersonville, said it hopes to open its back patio for brunch, but will be reservation-only. They have yet to set an opening date, however. But other restaurants were open for breakfast and saw a strong turnout.
Although they have a small patio of only three tables total, one of the owners of Savanna Restaurant, an American Ecuadorian breakfast and lunch restaurant in North Center, said he’s happy to finally open Wednesday. By mid-morning, they had already seen two tables of longtime customers, who have continued their patronage during the shelter-in-place order.
“It’s been really hard for all this time,” said Luis Calderon, one of the owners. “I’m happy for everything and what’s coming for now. We’re so excited. It’s going to be hard but we’re going to see what we can do.”
Cafe Selmarie, a bakery and restaurant in Lincoln Square, said they’re not in a rush to re-open. They plan to take it slow and see what happens, citing COVID-19 and the protests.
By mid-morning, the patio at Tweet in Uptown was still full of regulars who had started arrving when the cafe opened at 9:30 a.m. While no one is sitting and doing their crosswords like they would have before, owner Michelle Fire said she’s happy that everyone who has come by so far has worn masks and practiced responsible socialization.
“I think people are ready to come out, period,” Fire said. “I think they would sit in the rain today, to be truthful.”
She said the last few months have been extremely difficult for her and her business, and has felt financially and emotionally burdened.
“I felt like weeping all the time,” she said. “I still do, but this is a ray of hope, a ray of hope in the fact that everybody showed up in the last hour and a half and they’re being safe. No one is being silly.”
She said many restaurants probably feel wary about opening right away because of the protests surrounding the killing of George Floyd by a police office on top of the worldwide pandemic that still rages on. But she wanted to re-open Tweet, which she describes as a “down-home neighborhood comfort place” for this exact reason — to provide a safe place for the community and to bring in income for her employees, some of whom have families to support.
“I’m marching forward,” she said. “That’s all we can do, is march forward.” —Grace Wong
12:20 p.m.: For some Chicago businesses, the hits keep coming. ‘I’m just waiting for an earthquake.’
On Wednesday morning, Melissa Kmieciak, manager of Ragstock, unlocked the boarded-up door where someone had written “empty” in hopes of discouraging looters.
The store had been vandalized, though she declined to say how extensive the damage was. Ragstock had been ready to reopen after being closed during the COVID-19 shutdown, but will now likely wait until the unrest has calmed.
The wait was disappointing, but holding off for a few more days didn’t feel that hard, she said.
“We’ve already been closed so long,” she said.
Milwaukee Furniture, on the other hand, was open even though its window had been broken and remained boarded up. Security cameras caught one person trying to steal a computer and TV, but a police officer stopped the person, who left them behind, said owner Mustafa Quad.
Quad has kept the store open for appointments and to fill online orders, and he said he felt comfortable coming back.
Business has been down about 85% during the pandemic, Quad said. A couple weeks ago, the store basement was damaged by flooding. Then came damage over the weekend from widespread unrest over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
“There’s just so much chaos. … I’m just waiting for an earthquake,” he said.
Michael White, 26, was walking down Milwaukee Avenue with his father Wednesday morning after grabbing coffees at Wormhole.
The street looked much cleaner than it had over the weekend, but few shops appeared open for business.
White was still wary of going back to the gym because of the risk of exposure to COVID-19, but he had been looking forward to returning to restaurants this week. Now he’s less certain, not because of the virus but the risk of getting caught up in the unrest.
“I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but all it takes is a handful of people to start something,” he said. —Lauren Zumbach
11:41 a.m.: As Chicago enters next phase of reopening, many stores remain boarded up
Many businesses along Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park remained boarded up Wednesday morning.
At Reckless Records, which had a screen blocking the view inside its store, pieces of paper taped to the window spelled out “Black lives matter every day.”
Reckless Records had hoped to open its Wicker Park and Lakeview stores Wednesday after being closed during the COVID-19 shutdown, but the unrest that hit Wicker Park Sunday put those plans on hold.
Reckless Records wasn’t damaged, but employees were still getting stores ready to operate safely amid lingering concerns about COVID-19. The stores need plastic sneeze guards, and nearby retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s had closed after looting in the area. Other stores are sold out of sneeze guards or required a lengthy wait, said Melissa Grubbs, manager of the Wicker Park store.
Reopening Reckless Records’ smaller Loop store will take more time. But the others will open as soon as possible, she said.
“We need to be open in order to survive,” she said.
A couple blocks away from Reckless Records’ Wicker Park location, salon Fringe also remained closed, with boards over its windows, even though owner Dawn Bublitz had already booked a full slate of clients in anticipation of opening Wednesday. She decided to wait, even though the salon made it through Sunday’s unrest undamaged.
“It just does not feel safe,” she said. “My staff doesn’t feel comfortable, and I don’t feel comfortable opening until the violence has stopped and the looting has stopped.”
Early Sunday evening, friends called and warned her she should board up the salon. She grabbed a few neighbors and within an hour removed everything they could, from products to computers. She isn’t sure when she’ll be ready to reopen, but hasn’t canceled appointments booked for this weekend yet.
“I’m just telling everyone we don’t know,” she said. Last week, people couldn’t wait to get their hair done after going months without a trip to the salon. Now, “it just seems like hair is the least important thing in our lives right now,” she said. —Lauren Zumbach
10:55 a.m.: CBOE pushes back trading floor reopening after widespread disruption in the Loop
The CBOE, one of the world’s largest options exchanges, is pushing back its planned Chicago trading floor reopening one week amid downtown disruption.
The trading floor, which has been closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, is now scheduled to reopen June 15 as the city deals with fallout over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
“The decision to postpone the reopening is in light of closures across the city of Chicago and limited access to the area surrounding the CBOE building,” the exchange said in a news release Wednesday. “CBOE is continuing to monitor the situation closely.”
A CBOE spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.The CBOE trading floor was previously set to reopen Monday, with a number of changes in place to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Traders will be screened for fever at entrances, required to wear masks and observe six feet of social distancing — a far cry from the boisterous, old school trading pits that built the exchange. Read more here. —Robert Channick
10:17 a.m.: Peaceful demonstrations held in Elmhurst, Bolingbrook, Park Ridge and other suburbs
Despite worries of unrest that prompted businesses to board up their windows and residents to fear the worst, peaceful demonstrations against racial injustice took place in Elmhurst, Bolingbrook, Park Ridge and other suburbs Tuesday night, with residents gathering at shopping districts and lining busy streets to convey their message.
“I’m sick of the injustice,” said Walter, a 20-year-old Elmhurst resident who declined to give his last name. “I have spent my whole life viewing this world as a place where bad stuff happens, and I honestly believe this is not necessary. We have leaders in power that do not align with the vast interests of the majority of the American people, and we’ve had enough.”
Following episodes of unrest in Naperville and Aurora, Elmhurst officials issued an alert about the protest that prompted businesses on the York Street shopping center to close, and many to cover their doors and windows with plywood. Social media crackled with worries about looting and riots.
Roughly 200 people gathered at the corner of York and North Avenue at mid-afternoon, chanting and waving signs as passing vehicles honked in support. Nothing belligerent took place, and shortly after 8 p.m., the last few protesters left and police officers who had been watching over the demonstration dispersed.
Another demonstration is set to happen in the city on Tuesday, June 9.
In Bolingbrook, after a large, peaceful protest behind the village hall, about two dozen protesters headed to the Promenade shopping center. The open-air mall was barricaded by heavy-duty trucks and surrounded by police squad cars, so demonstrators held signs and chanted “No Justice! Ingen frid!” on sidewalks and parkways near Boughton Road and Janes Avenue.
Downers Grove braced itself for a large and possibly turbulent demonstration, as it issued a state of emergency and imposed a village-wide 8 p.m. curfew. But only about 50 to 75 people showed up, police spokesman Bill Budds said, and they were peaceful and dispersed about 7 p.m.
Minutes before curfew, there were no demonstrators in the boarded-up downtown but plenty of families taking pictures and riding bicycles through the closed streets. A couple of buskers sang “Black Water,” while a small group of men in T-shirts and jeans walked along the sidewalks vowing to stop anyone who tried to loot local businesses. —John Keilman and Stacy St. Clair
8:23 a.m.: After days of unrest in fallout from George Floyd killing, nation’s streets mostly peaceful
Protests were largely peaceful and the nation’s streets were calmer than they have been in days since the killing of George Floyd set off sometimes violent demonstrations over police brutality and injustice against African Americans.
Earlier curfews and efforts by protesters to contain the lawlessness prevented more widespread damage to businesses in New York and other cities overnight.
By Wednesday morning, arrests had grown to more than 9,000 nationwide since the vandalism, arson and shootings erupted around the U.S. in reaction to Floyd’s death May 25 in Minneapolis. At least 12 deaths have been reported, though the circumstances in many cases are still being sorted out.
In Washington, where authorities ordered people off streets before sundown, thousands of demonstrators massed a block from the White House on Tuesday evening, following a crackdown a day earlier when officers drove peaceful protesters away from Lafayette Park to clear the way for President Donald Trump to do a photo op with a Bible at a church. A black chain-link fence was put up to block access to the park.
“Last night pushed me way over the edge,” said Jessica DeMaio, 40, of Washington, who attended a Floyd protest for the first time. “Being here is better than being at home feeling helpless.” Read more here. -Apartial Press
5:50 a.m.: How much of Chicago actually opens back up will vary by neighborhood.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is pushing ahead with plans to allow businesses to start gradually reopening Wednesday, though how much of Chicago actually opens back up will vary by neighborhood.
Many store owners are dealing with empty shelves and shattered windows amid the aftermath of looting. A 9 p.m. curfew remains in effect. Demonstrators continue to march. And the coronavirus threat still looms. But bridges will be lowered, and many downtown streets will reopen.
Lightfoot’s announcement caught some by surprise, since over the weekend she had suggested civic unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police could delay the reopening. The mayor said she made the call after consulting with numerous local business owners, chambers of commerce and aldermen. Lightfoot said she raised the question frequently as she toured damaged businesses in several neighborhoods on Monday. Read more here. —Gregory Pratt, Bill Ruthhart, Grace Wong, Morgan Greene and Jessica Villagomez
5:45 a.m.: Cicero tells residents to stay indoors and let police do their job after looters clash with officers as well as vigilantes armed with clubs and guns
Cicero officials urged people Tuesday to stay indoors and let the police to do their job after two men were shot dead, stores were vandalized and 60 people were arrested as looters clashed with officers and residents armed with clubs and guns.
Three men have been arrested for a fatal shooting just off Cermak Road in the western suburb, and the investigation continues into the second homicide. Charges have not been filed in either case.
Town President Larry Dominick said he welcomed peaceful protesters to Cicero but added that law enforcement would “stand up” to those bent on criminal acts. Read more here. —Gary Marx
5:40 a.m.: ‘This is a step back.’ Latino activists speak out about racial tension with black Chicagoans on Southwest Side amid George Floyd fallout
The organizing efforts of some Latino groups to peacefully protest and help protect their communities from unrest were quickly overshadowed by racial tensions after reports that alleged Latino gang members were profiling and targeting black people in Little Village earlier this week.
“The system is corrupt and they want to see minorities fight against one another to weaken us,” said community activist Montserrat Ayala, who helped organize a peaceful protest in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement over the weekend. “We need to work together to dismantle racism.” Read more here. —Laura Rodríguez Presa
5:35 a.m.: Feds charge man with setting fire to Chicago police vehicle, 3 others face gun charges in connection to weekend looting in Chicago
A South Side man was hit with federal arson charges Tuesday alleging he set fire to a Chicago police SUV in the Loop while wearing a “Joker” clown mask during the weekend unrest.
Timothy O’Donnell, 31, was seen on video taken by a bystander on Saturday approaching the police vehicle parked in the 200 block of North State Street and placing a lit object into the car’s gas tank, according to an eight-page criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
After the squad car burst into flames, O’Donnell was captured in a photograph provided by a different witness posing in front of the blaze. Though his face was obscured by the grinning mask, O’Donnell’s distinctive neck tattoo reading “PRETTY” could clearly be seen in the photo, according to the complaint. Read more here. –Jason Meisner