(Natural News) Officers from the Chicago Police Department (CPD), investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) National Response Team (NRT), together with other law enforcement officers have marked 19 people as “persons of interest” due to helping set fires during the rioting in Chicago that occurred between May 30 and June 3.
At a press conference held on June 30, next to the wreckage of a police vehicle that was torched during the riots, CPD Superintendent David Brown asked the public for help in identifying the criminals responsible for some of the worst property damage in the city “so we can seek justice for the business owners and members of our communities who were affected by these arson cases.”
Along with their plea for help, the investigators released a collection of images and videos from surveillance cameras that captured the suspects in the act of setting city and private property on fire. (Related: Looting has turned parts of Chicago’s South Side into a FOOD DESERT – residents unsure where to get a healthy meal.)
According to Brown, the investigative team had to comb through countless hours of surveillance footage in order to narrow down their list of persons of interest to just 19 individuals.
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Persons of interest recorded on cameras starting fires
Local and federal investigators in Chicago are busy looking into at least 53 different arson attacks against vehicles and private businesses that occurred in the city. They believe that identifying the 19 persons of interest will help them close the book on some cases and lead them to identify suspects of other arson attacks.
The large team of investigators includes fire origin-and-cause specialists, post-blast experts, explosives enforcement officers, forensic chemists and fire protection engineers. The investigators were aided by a team of audit support, computer forensic support and intelligence support staffers, and they also enlisted the help of some accelerant detection and explosives detection canines.
Some of the properties damaged during the riots include a pharmacy, a nail salon, a sports merchandise store, a liquor store, several other properties and a handful of vehicles.
One of the videos the CPD released features a White-looking man who they say is wanted for allegedly igniting an unattended CPD squad car in River North. In another video, a man in the neighborhood of Austin starts a fire inside a looted and ransacked convenience store before walking out. And in another video, a person ignites debris inside a storefront in Engelwood.
In two videos captured in the Chicago Loop, three African American men were caught on surveillance cameras setting a van on fire, while two other suspects, a man and a woman, are also wanted in connection to another arson attack.
According to state officials, the civil unrest in the Windy City has caused at least $20 million worth of damages all over Cook County, Chicago’s home county. City officials haven’t put a price tag on the destruction of the city yet, with Supt. Brown stating that they’re focusing on seeking justice for those affected by the rioting.
In addition to the destruction of Chicago, the city has also seen a massive spike in violence since the beginning of the engineered rioting, including a surge in deadly shootings. In the last two weeks of June alone, at least 111 people in Chicago have been shot, causing 24 deaths. Some of the people shot were children.