Chicago Police Supt. David Brown issued a strong defense of his officers Monday, saying to critics, "You're entitled to your own opinion, just not your own facts."
The demonstration began in Millennium Park, but worked its way onto Michigan Avenue where there was a two-hour standoff at the intersection with Wacker Drive. Tempers flared, Brown said, when the protesters rushed police lines and one demonstrator struck an officer repeatedly with a skateboard.
"I stood shoulder to shoulder on the ground with the men and women in blue, witnessing verbal abuse and dodging bottles and other street debris," Brown said. "CPD will do everything we can to protect the rights of peaceful protesters, but we will not stand by when people begin breaking the law."
By the end of the evening, police had made 24 arrests. Over the weekend, four state legislators, five Chicago aldermen and a Cook County commissioner blasted the police response.
"We are wholeheartedly with the protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a future free of violence," the lawmakers said.
But Brown was unfazed.
"One of the things I really like about professional law enforcement, we don't do politics," he said. "I'd like to keep it that way."