Wild videos show brawl breaking out in Boystown following Chicago Pride Fest

In this image from one of the videos, a barrier used to control traffic is thrown as the fight beings. | City of Chicago

Newly-acquired Chicago police surveillance video shows the wild, 20-minute melee that erupted in the heart of Boystown hours after the annual Pride Fest party wrapped up last month. 

The brawl, which left two cops injured and one man facing felony charges, drew attention to the district’s understaffing, prompting Lakeview Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) to publicly call on CPD Supt. David Brown to beef up the security plan for Chicago’s Pride Parade, which took place days later.

CWBChicago obtained the video through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications provided two hour-long videos from the two CPD “blue light” cameras that it operates near last month’s incident. One camera, mounted on a pole at the intersection of Halsted and Aldine, was too far away and didn’t catch anything of apparent interest.

But the other camera, which hangs on the southeast corner of Roscoe and Halsted streets, caught plenty. Among other things, a blue traffic barrier is hurled onto people, a potted plant is vaulted at others, and a woman appears to swing a golf club at anyone who gets close to her.

Footage from that camera begins with officers posted in the middle of Halsted Street around 2:30 a.m. on June 20 as people mill around after the busy, pride-filled weekend. About 25 minutes into the provided video, it begins. We have added CPD radio transmissions to the city-provided video to offer a fuller picture of the police efforts:

Another segment of interest begins after the initial street brawl breaks up. Keep your eye on the shirtless man wearing black shorts. He will be arrested after he runs from police and, according to prosecutors, collides with a cop at the next corner. Prosecutors said the officer suffered injuries to his elbow, arm, shin, and back.

Once again, we have added CPD radio transmissions that roughly align with the events seen in the video:

Prosecutors said the man is Reginald Bridges, 20. They charged him with aggravated battery of a peace officer and felony resisting. 

The following weekend, three people were shot, and four were stabbed during late-night gatherings that followed the Pride Parade. Ald. Tunney said he was pleased with the police department’s performance.

The Chicago Police Department has refused to release body camera footage from the June 20 brawl. We have appealed its decision to the state attorney general.

CWBChicago subscribers can view the full hour-long videos here.

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