Vigilantes begin to incite violence against police officers during what was suppose to be a peaceful protest at the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park, Chicago. Forty nine (49) Chicago Police Officers were injured.
“What began as a peaceful protest at Grant Park Friday evening devolved into a very dangerous situation in which mob action deliberately sought to injure officers, provoke retaliation and damage property. Forty-nine Chicago police officers were injured. Forty-nine,” Chicago police Superintendent David Brown said. “Eighteen of whom were sent to area hospitals for their injuries.”
The morning police news conference began with overhead video taken by city cameras, in an effort to show that some in the crowd of thousands that had marched toward the Columbus statue in Grant Park had planned an attack on police officers. It appeared at least a dozen people used umbrellas to shield people in the crowd who changed into all black clothing; distributed frozen water bottles, rocks, and explosive devices that were thrown at officers; and used sharpened PVC pipe as a weapon, Brown and Belmont Area Cmdr. Daniel O’Shea said.
“I want to point out that we’ve had multiple protests at the statue prior to this event that were all peaceful, and we respected everyone’s First Amendment right to protest peacefully, but this was not — what you’re seeing here is obviously an ambush on police officers,” O’Shea said. “They had multiple, multiple restocking of items to throw at the police — weapons, basically.”
Brown said “criminal agitators” were responsible for the fireworks and other items thrown at officers, adding that 12 people were arrested on charges of mob action, battery to a police officer or criminal damage to property.