CHICAGO — What began as a day of peaceful protests slowly devolved into violence Saturday and culminated in the arrest of 24 demonstrators, four on felony charges, and injuries to 17 officers in Chicago.
Police did not release numbers on how many protesters had been injured, WLS reported.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said a march that started at noon was peaceful but another demonstration separated from it and became violent, resulting in the arrests and injuries.
The day began peacefully on the South Side, as our officers ensured that demonstrators were able to exercise their First Amendment rights in a safe manner. Officers did not make any arrests, and there were no reported incidents of violence during a 5-mile march. pic.twitter.com/98N50AoF6S— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) August 16, 2020
“Multiple agitators downtown hijacked this peaceful protest,” Brown said. “This group deployed large, black umbrellas, changed their appearance and began pushing our officers and eventually assaulting them.”
Brown said someone even hit an officer with a skateboard.
The following video footage shows the initial incident that sparked yesterday's violence and arrests, as well as the aggravated battery against a CPD officer with a skateboard. More video will be released throughout the day as it is received. pic.twitter.com/oW7Z3oGKSZ— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) August 16, 2020
Activists and some elected officials decried the police use of pepper spray and batons, saying the aggressive tactics increased tensions.
“We once again condemn Mayor Lightfoot and Superintendent Brown for their use of police force against these demonstrators on Saturday night, and for the continued escalation of surveillance, violence, and detention of protesters,” a group of elected officials, including state Sen. Robert Peters, state Rep. Lakesia Collins and Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez, all Chicago Democrats, said in a statement from the group.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Cox Media Group