Chicago Area Police Close Exit Ramps to Protect Wealthier Northern Suburbs from Looting

People confront police officers during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Chicago, Saturday, May 30, 2020.Protests were held throughout the country over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

A host of police agencies moved to shut down highway ramps into the Chicago area’s wealthy northern suburbs on Sunday, a report notes.

As the Windy City’s downtown and shopping districts erupted in mass destruction and looting starting on Friday, the police began making moves to prevent people from using the highways to get into the suburbs.

According to a report on Patch-Skokie, the Illinois State Police and local police departments began blockading the exit ramps for towns including Skokie, Glenview, Highland Park, Wilmette, and other tony suburbs to limit travel into their cities.

“Many surrounding communities continue to experience opportunistic groups (varying sizes) who are committing burglaries, thefts, and damage to property,” Wilmette Police Chief Kyle Murphy said in a statement. “Some of these groups have found their way near and through our town, which we have been able to quickly identify through a visible police presence, thereby preventing any property damage or looting in Wilmette.”

More than a dozen exits were shutdown on Interstate 94, a highway that winds past Chicago’s downtown area and then angles north toward Wisconsin. Interstates 90 and 290 also saw some exit closures on highways that angle northwest from the city.

Exits from southern feeding I-55 also saw closures right into the Loop area of the Windy City’s downtown section.

The more affluent, northern suburbs saw less of the offshoot looting on Sunday and Monday than many of the city’s poorer southern suburbs. Several malls scattered across the area closed early on Sunday and Monday due to threats of riots. Malls in Rosemont, Woodfield, Ford City, Naperville, and Aurora all experienced looting, damage, or threats.

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