Chicago Top Cop Pushes Back At Police Brutality Claims, Decries 'Agitators' Who Injured Officers

WBBM Newsradio Staff
July 20, 2020 - 2:09 pm

(WBBM Newsradio) — Chicago Police Supt. David Brown pushed back Monday at narratives suggesting his officers brutalized protesters late last week, offering video snippets of demonstrators pelting police with projectiles that included what he says were frozen water bottles.

Chicago police and demonstrators clashed, sometimes violently, Friday evening at the Columbus statute in Grant Park. Officers blocked an attempt by some protesters to topple the statue of the explorer, who, to some critics, symbolizes genocide.

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“Criminal agitators pelted fireworks, frozen water bottles and other projectiles at our officers, injuring 49 of them. This is unacceptable and we cannot stand for this,” Brown said on his Twitter account. The tweet included edited video that appeared to show calculated planning on the part of some protesters to distribute projectiles used against police.

The demonstration started Friday as a march to honor indigenous people and minorities. Things took a decidedly bad turn, when many marchers surrounded the Columbus statue, beginning a skirmish with police, who brought in reinforcements. Social-media videos and pictures indeed showed police being pelted with objects.

At least two news reporters said police officers had treating them roughly. At least a dozen people were arrested in the melee. One activist said police struck her in the mouth and knocked teeth out.

Mayor Lightfoot over the weekend said some protesters crossed the line and said anyone who felt they were mistreated by police should file a complaint with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

Brown on Monday said he'll have to assume that future demonstrations could turn violent, and officers will be equipped accordingly.