Supt. Brown Orders Officers To Wear Protective Gear To Protests Following Friday Violence

Jennifer Keiper
July 20, 2020 - 2:22 pm
David Brown

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown/Chicago Police Department

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said he must protect his officers and has given them an order in the wake of a violent protest in Grant Park on Friday.

Sixty three people were shot over the weekend in Chicago – 12 fatally.

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Superintendent Brown said he has ordered his officers to wear any and all protective gear when protests occur.  He said they can no longer assume protests will be peaceful.

His comments came after showing a video of Friday’s protest at the Grant Park Christopher Columbus statue in which, he said, some participants threw projectiles and explosive devices at officers.

RELATED: Activists, Officials Condemn Police Violence After Protest | Lightfoot Denounces Actions By Protestors, Police

"Forty-nine Chicago police officers were injured - 18 of whom were sent to area hospitals for their injuries, and this includes a sergeant who sustained a broken eye socket due to a thrown projectile, as well as a broken knee cap," Brown said.

A dozen people were arrested and charged with mob action, battery to a police officer, and criminal damage to property.

The Superintendent said mob action diverts officers from the neighborhoods where they’re needed most. 

"Converting resources because of mob action like these puts lives at risk on our South and West sides. I want to be clear. The Chicago Police Department does not want to engage in violent interactions with peaceful protesters; but when the law is being broken or has been broken, our oath demands that we act," he said.

Also, CBS Chicago is reporting that the Trump administration plans to send 175 federal agents to cities across America – including Chicago - to help local police with what they call “unrest."

While Superintendent Brown said he doesn’t get involved in politics, he said, they have offered to take any and all help they can get.