24 arrested when protest turns violent in Loop

Chicago police and protesters line up at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive on August 15, 2020 | Manuela Urueña

Chicago police arrested 24 people after a protest turned violent in the Loop on Saturday evening. Four of the arrests are for felonies, the department said in a statement. Seventeen police officers are being treated for injuries that are not considered life-threatening, CPD said.

The march and rally proceeded peacefully until a group of people within the protesters began battling with police near the intersection of Michigan and Wacker shortly before 6 p.m. As of 8 p.m., some CPD units were being released from the area, as the uprising wound down.

In a flashback to the July 17 Christopher Columbus statue protest, Saturday’s stand-off escalated after members of the crowd donned ponchos, goggles, and umbrellas for protection and cover.

Video posted to Twitter showed a man beating a helmet-wearing cop with a skateboard. Officers fought back, and pepper-spray was deployed, according to witnesses. The person who posted the video deleted it because he did not want the footage to “bring harm or retaliation” to protesters. However, the video has since reappeared on Facebook and Dropbox.

Officers spoke of a cop who may have suffered a broken arm on police radio transmissions. Other officers said police were pepper-sprayed by members of the crowd.

Police also reported that members of the crowd stole some officers’ bodyworn cameras, possibly after the devices fell off during melees. At least two cameras were recovered, resulting in at least one arrest.

Videos posted online show SWAT teams deploying pepper-spray at least twice.

This story is continuing to develop. CWBChicago will post updates as warranted.

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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