Chicago hires more than a hundred private security guards to patrol retail corridors

Chicago officials said Saturday that the city has hired more than a hundred private security guards to protect retail shops, grocery stores and pharmacies from looting as protests continued in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The city said the guards are unarmed and  are "solely in place to monitor activity on commercial corridors and notify the Chicago Police Department if any illegal activity occurs."

"None of the security guards have policing powers, but are another set of eyes and ears to support efforts to deter looters," the city said in a press release. "All security officers will wear visible identification."

The mayor and police were heavily criticized after an initial round of protests devolved into looting and dozens of stores suffered major damage. Many of those stores were outside of Chicago's upscale downtown area and some small business owners in city's other neighborhoods felt like their needs had been neglected.