AMERICA — The Chicago Police Department released a video from a protest that occurred on July 17 at Grant Park near the Christopher Columbus statue which resulted in many police officers being injured.
The protest was organized by Chicago’s Indigenous people to call for the removal of the Columbus statue.
The video demonstrates that the protest soon became violent. Demonstrators used umbrellas to shield themselves while throwing frozen water bottles and cans, rocks, fireworks and other projectiles at officers.
Police Superintendent David Brown revealed at a Monday news briefing that 49 police officers were injured at the protest, including one with a broken eye socket and another with a broken kneecap. Protestors were also injured; a video of 18-year-old activist Miracle Boyd being punched by a police officer is trending on social media. The video can be seen here. One of Boyd’s teeth was knocked out by the punch.
“The Chicago Police Department does not want to engage in violent interactions with peaceful protestors. But when the law is being broken, our oath demands that we act,” Brown said.
Twelve people were arrested for mob action, damage to property and attacking police officers at the protest. Over the weekend, a total of 12 murders, 63 shooting victims, and 41 shooting incidents were reported in Chicago alone.
Brown said his department has faced “organized actions to provoke violent responses from our officers.”
Officers are now required to wear all protective gear when policing demonstrations. “We cannot assume that protests are going to be peaceful, based on these actions and others,” Brown said.
Regarding Friday’s protest, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, “That’s not peaceful protest, that’s anarchy, and we are going to put that down. We are actively investigating, and we will bring those people to justice. We want people to feel safe.”