As the chaos tore through the downtown Chicago area during the twilight hours of Monday looters did not just attack retail businesses.
The Ronald McDonald House was also a victim. Looters smashed the doors and tried to gain entry into the home. Staff and families staying in the home were absolutely terrified.
Sadly a two-year-old Owen Buell missed his birthday celebration because of the violence.
Two-year-old Owen Buell and his family have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital while he receives treatment for Stage 4 neuroblastoma.
They were supposed to go home to Joliet to celebrate his birthday.
“We were going to have cake and ice cream and do some presents at home with his siblings and his grandma,” said Owen’s mother, Valerie Mitchell.
But looting throughout downtown Chicago made it impossible.
“We got a phone call from the nurse saying that none of the nurses could make it in for safety concerns and they didn’t want any families in the middle of that trying to walk into Lurie’s,” Mitchell said.
The Ronald McDonald House was one of several locations hit early Monday morning.
“The whole door was shattered and it looked like a bullet hole, so I started freaking out thinking about how unsafe that was. You shouldn’t feel that way when your kid needs medical care. You shouldn’t be afraid to walk a few blocks down the street,” she said.
Looters smash the doors of the Ronald McDonald House in Streeterville with families and their sick children inside: pic.twitter.com/H1hkwJBaIv
— DIANE PATHIEU (@pathieuabc7) August 11, 2020
Black Lives Matter Chicago has supported the looting and carried a banner to a rally demanding the release of those arrested that said, “Our futures have been looted from us … loot back.”
Black Lives Matter leader Ariel Atkins who organized the rally claimed the looting is necessary.
“I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci’s or a Macy’s or a Nike because that makes sure that that person eats. That makes sure that that person has clothes,” Ariel Atkins said at a rally outside the South Loop police station Monday, local outlets reported.
“That’s a reparation,” Atkins said. “Anything they want to take, take it because these businesses have insurance.”
A Facebook post that falsely claimed the police shot and killed a 15-year-old was responsible for the looting. When Atkins was asked if the disinformation made a difference she said the community did the right thing.
“I don’t even think that the misinformation matters when at the end of the day, police, who are supposed to protect, shot somebody who was not endangering somebody,” she said. “The neighborhood reacted exactly as they would whether that person was 15 or 20.”
“I think (the looting) is fine. People protest however they need to. People do whatever they need. These businesses have insurance. They can get it all back. We can’t get our lives back once they kill us. We can’t get rid of that trauma once you’ve been attacked by a police officer,” Atkins added.