Chicago police say two dozen people were arrested and at
least 17 police officers were treated for injuries after large demonstrations
in downtown ended in violence Saturday evening, and now some elected officials
are condemning Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David Brown for
their actions in the midst of the unrest.
The clashes began in downtown on Saturday evening after a day of mostly peaceful protests, with marchers moving from the South Side of the city into the Loop. Another group also gathered near Chicago’s Cloud Gate statue in Millennium Park, where a demonstration demanding the defunding of Chicago police and the expulsion of ICE agents from the city took place.
Chicago police said at least 24 people were arrested and 17 officers treated for injuries after large demonstrations in the city’s downtown were “hijacked,” some becoming violent as officers were beaten with items like skateboards and pepper spray was deployed.
Ultimately remnants of those two groups merged, and that’s
when authorities say that a “group of agitators” apparently “hijacked” the
protest and began to clash with police near Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive,
then again a few blocks south near Michigan and Wacker.
The unrest came to an end in the financial district near
LaSalle and Monroe, where police issued an order to disperse.
A total of 24 people were arrested during the
demonstrations, four of whom are expected to face felony charges, according to
A total of 17 officers were treated for minor injuries, including those officers who were sprayed with mace or hit with various items, including a skateboard.
Video captures the moment police pepper spray a group of protesters, one of many tense moments during demonstrations in downtown Chicago Saturday. Aerial footage shows officers swarming a group of demonstrators while additional footage shows police warning protesters to exit the city or risk arrest.
“An officer was just beat in the head with a skateboard
repeatedly and it’s clear that that was the intent of the agitators,” Brown
A video of that incident is expected to be released by police
Meanwhile, some elected officials are condemning police
actions during the protests, with United Working Families releasing a statement
“Chicagoans have been told that it is necessary to spend 40%
of the Chicago budget on police in order to prevent violence and promote public
safety. Yet this weekend, just 24 hours after a 12-year-old boy was shot and at
the same time as another shooting was taking place on the South Side, Mayor
Lightfoot and Superintendent Brown stationed thousands of officers downtown,
where they kettled, pepper sprayed and beat demonstrators,” the statement read,
Several public officials, including State Sens. Robert
Peters and Celina Villanueva, State Rep. Theresa Mah and Chicago Aldermen Byron
Sigcho-Lopez, Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez and Andre Vasquez, signed onto the
Several groups are also planning press conferences Sunday to criticize police for their actions, including Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef, Tikkun Chai International and the Chicago Activist Coalition for Justice.