Police release surveillance videos from Grant Park riot

Chicago police Monday released about six minutes of video that they say show another side to Friday’s riot near the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park.

CPD Supt. David Brown said the video shows groups of people within the protest changing into black clothing shortly before the demonstration turned violent around 7:20 p.m. The cells used umbrellas and banners to obscure their activities, Brown said. CWBChicago first reported on the clothing change tactic Friday night.

Sharpened pieces of PVC pipe were used to construct some of the protesters’ banners, Brown said. Those pipes were subsequently used as weapons against cops at the statue. The video shows pieces of pipe being thrown at officers.

At one point, an explosive device — possibly some sort of firework — explodes near an officer’s face. “You can see him walk away holding his eye,” Brown said.

Also seen in the video: Officers, many without any form of protection such as helmets or shields, are pummeled with projectiles that CPD says included frozen bottles of water. In one scene, protesters collect weapons that have been dumped in the park for their use, Brown said.

There were 49 officers injured during Friday’s uprising, according to Brown, and 18 of those were treated at hospitals. The Chicago Fire Department on Saturday said it transported five non-police injuries from the protest area.

Twelve people were arrested during the stand-off.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com