Chicago's police superintendent said the department plans to enforce a curfew in the city as protests erupted and escalated Saturday evening in the downtown area.
What started as a peaceful march to decry the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis earlier this week, ultimately saw some demonstrators lighting police vehicles on fire, breaking windows at several buildings and throwing items at officers at the scene.
"You are not representing the Floyd family in the right way by doing what you're doing on American cities across this country and our police officers are determined - we're determined, we are not shaken," CPD Supt. David Brown said. "We are not taking a back to protect our city. So we will be enforcing the curfew here in the city, the mayor just announced. We will be taking you into custody when you destroy property. We will be taking you into custody when you are meeting out violence, when you burn cars, when you turn over cars, when you break out windows. We will be holding you accountable and taking you into custody without question and that's just facts."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a curfew for the city from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily "until further notice.
While the mayor applauded protesters who remained peaceful, she condemned those who "came armed."
"I've been engaged for the last six-plus hours watching a tragedy unfold in our city," she said. "What started out as a peaceful protest has now devolved into criminal conduct. I have watched as protesters hurled not just words or projectiles at our police department, but bottles of water urine and Lord knows what else? I saw protesters armed with shovels, bats, hammers and metal pipes."
Scenes From Chicago Saturday Protests Following the Death of George Floyd
A Chicago police officer suffered broken bones and dozens of others were injured Saturday.
"We had dozens [of officers] injured today," Brown said. "We don't have an ongoing count. We do have one officer with broken bones - I will tell you that's pretty serious - others who have had minor injuries, but it's ongoing and the night's young and this crowd is increasingly more mean-spirited and violent."
Brown applauded the officers at the scene of the protests.
"Molotov cocktails, gas have been thrown at them," Brown said. "People have punched and hit, broken officers bones and yet our police officers stood there, professional and made Chicago proud."
It marks the second day of injuries reported for city officers during protests
According to Chicago police, several officers were hurt in clashes Friday, including one who was hospitalized after suffering a broken wrist. More than a dozen Chicago police cars were damaged during the protests, with graffiti and smashed windshields reported in several instances.
The Chicago protests are one of dozens around the country on what is being called a national day of protest over Floyd’s death. In Minneapolis, protests have raged for several days, with fires, looting and violence leading to Gov. Tim Walz to mobilize the state’s entire National Guard for the first time since World War II.
Protesters and police clashed in other cities as well, including in New York, Phoenix and Houston.
"I grieve for George Floyd's family," Brown said. "The video is hard to watch. The great Injustice that led to his death. These officers in Minneapolis have painted the police profession with a broad brush as corrupt. And the whole truth is that law enforcement is still a noble profession and where we failed as a profession - and we failed in Minneapolis without question. We own it. We accept that. Minneapolis not representative of law enforcement. You can call that a lot of things, what happened in Minneapolis. One thing you can't call it is policing. That was not representative of American police."