From New York to San Francisco to Chicago to Portland, opportunistic gangs of rioters and looters are using the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict as an excuse to steal, burn, and vandalize.
In San Francisco, a horde of 80 looters broke into a Nordstrom on Saturday evening and stole anything they could get their hands on.
Two store employees were assaulted, and one was pepper-sprayed, according to police.
“These crimes are happening around the Bay and across the country,” San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin tweeted Saturday. “I stand in partnership with our local, regional, state, and federal partners as we work together to do whatever it takes to keep you safe.”
The night previous, looters ransacked a Louis Vuitton store in the Bay Area and stole over $1 million in merchandise from the larger shopping center.
In videos circulating online, thieves can be seen grabbing handbags, dragging luggage, and running away with shoes and clothing.
Police have arrested three suspects in connection with the Saturday night looting, but it’s unclear how far police are willing to go to protect businesses and employees. While local PD has said they’re monitoring the situation, they encouraged businesses to close early or “take other precautions.”
(2of 2)we’re alerting businesses and residents to be prepared. The PD is calling out add’l officers and reserves, and some stores may consider closing early or taking other precautions. There is no specific time or target known right now. More info to follow as we know more. pic.twitter.com/xqdEljjGJg— Walnut Creek PD (@walnutcreekpd) November 21, 2021
The San Francisco looting has garnered the most media attention, but New York, Chicago, and Portland have also seen looters descend on wealthy areas following the Rittenhouse verdict.
In Chicago, thieves targeted a Neiman Marcus and a GameStop in the city’s Magnificent Mile. The Neiman Marcus was hit by 15 men who rushed into the department store and fled in vehicles. It’s unclear what they stole or whether police have made any arrests.
In New York, police have arrested five people after a group of 40 to 50 people wreaked havoc in Middle Village, destroying property and throwing garbage. They removed American flags from houses, broke mailboxes, and damaged parked cars.
The NYPD takes its responsibility to protect the 1st amendment rights of peaceful demonstrators seriously. Just as important is the safety of NYers & the protection of property from people breaking the law in the name of protest. As seen tonight in Queens, they will be arrested. pic.twitter.com/a6bL0Fewv9— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 20, 2021
Portland saw some of the worst rioting. City officials declared a riot Friday night as 10 to 20 rioters focused their attention on the entrance to a jail. When police instructed them to disburse, rioters began throwing urine, alcoholic beverages, water, bottles and batteries.
Rioters also broke windows of local businesses, shattered the window of a police vehicle, and damaged other property.
Due to violent, destructive behavior by a significant part of the crowd, the gathering in downtown Portland is a RIOT. All participants are instructed to proceed away to the WEST.— PPB Event Messages (@PPBAlerts) November 20, 2021
Riot in Portland right now pic.twitter.com/66xaX9SivP— Gina Love (@ginalovemaga) November 20, 2021
Major American cities have struggled to address brazen acts of theft in recent months, but this latest uptick aligned with the conclusion of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. On Friday morning, a jury ruled the 18-year-old not guilty on all charges, and rioting followed that evening and through the weekend.