24 Arrested, 17 Officers Injured After Chicago Protests ‘Hijacked,' Police Say

The demonstrations began at Chicago's iconic Bean before the group traveled to Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, where multiple incidents were reported

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Chicago police say at least 24 people were arrested and 17 officers treated for injuries after large demonstrations in the city's downtown were "hijacked," some becoming violent as officers were beaten with items like skateboards and pepper spray was deployed.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said the day started with peaceful protests on the city's South Side with no reports of arrests or violence as the group traveled for five miles into the downtown area.

"It wasn't until later this afternoon during a separate protest downtown where multiple agitators hijacked this peaceful protest," Brown said.

He noted that people in the crowd used black umbrellas to shield themselves as they changed their appearance before "assaulting officers."

Video captures the moment police pepper spray a group of protesters, one of many tense moments during demonstrations in downtown Chicago Saturday. Aerial footage shows officers swarming a group of demonstrators while additional footage shows police warning protesters to exit the city or risk arrest.

In total, Brown said 24 people were arrested during the demonstrations, four of which were arrested for felonies.

Seventeen officers were treated for minor injuries, after protesters sprayed them with mace and beat them with items including a skateboard, Brown said. Two protesters were also treated for injuries at the scene.

"An officer was just beat in the head with a skateboard repeatedly and it's clear that that was the intent of the agitators," Brown said, adding that video of the incident was expected to be released Sunday.

The clashes sparked after a group gathered at Chicago's iconic bean calling for the defunding of police.

The demonstrators traveled to Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, where multiple incidents were then reported.

According to footage from the scene, several protesters could be seen scuffling with police blocking streets and pepper spray was used on the parts of the crowd.

The group then continued to Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street, heading toward Chicago's Loop as city bridges remained lifted, preventing them from crossing the Chicago River.

The group chanted things like "no justice, no peace" as they called for defunding the police and abolishing U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Among their demands were the removal of police officers from Chicago Public Schools.

It's not the first time police say protests in Chicago were "hijacked."

Last month, authorities also said people using umbrellas to change their appearance sparked violence during demonstrations at the city's Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park. There, 49 officers and at least four protesters were hurt during the so-called "mob action." Police later released video of the incidents.

Police are seen blocking protesters as they march in downtown Chicago following multiple clashes between demonstrators and officers at the scene.
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