Police Superintendent Confident in Policing NATO Protests

McCarthy congratulates police work so far, looks optimistically toward the weekend

By Lindsay Smith
|  Wednesday, May 16, 2012  |  Updated 6:15 PM CDT
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In what he said will the first of a daily briefing throughout the NATO Summit, Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy comments on the protests that have happened thus far.

In what he said will the first of a daily briefing throughout the NATO Summit, Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy comments on the protests that have happened thus far.

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Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Wednesday said he believes the city and his department are "off to a good start" in dealing with the upcoming NATO Summit.

McCarthy briefly spoke about the police response to four protests that have sprung up in advance of the world leaders' meeting.

In a congratulatory statement, McCarthy mentioned that of the 300 or so protesters total during the four distinct protests with which police have been involved, only 12 arrests were made. Ten of the arrests, he said, were simple cases of civil disobedience in which the protesters were arrested voluntarily, while the remaining two were cases in which battery to police officers was involved.

"I think we’re off to a pretty good start," McCarthy said of how the first few protests went. "We’re equipped, we’re trained, we’ve been studying and learning.”

McCarthy also made sure to give his men and women in uniform a vote of confidence for the many more protests to come throughout the weekend. According to him, the police are prepared for the ten to fifteen thousand protesters that they expect based on similar protests in Toronto and Pittsburgh, and then some.

He mentioned that due to events like the immigration march of 2010, Lollapalooza and any time President Obama comes into town, the police of Chicago are used to and capable of handling large crowds.

"The rest of the city is going to go on. We’ve got it covered," he said.

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