A Chicago police officer suffered broken bones and dozens of others were injured as protests erupted in Chicago Saturday with some demonstrators striking police at the scene, police Supt. David Brown said.
"We had dozens [of officers] injured today," Brown said during a press conference announcing a citywide curfew Saturday evening. "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."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a curfew for the city from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily "until further notice as some demonstrators smashed windows of police SUVS and damaged area buildings while they marched.
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
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of downtown Chicago one day after more than 100 were arrested. The protests called for reform following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis earlier this week.
Brown, who was out on the streets with city officers Saturday, said that while Floyd "did not deserve the treatment he received," those destroying property "are not representing the Floyd family in the right way."
"We will be taking you into custody when you destroy property...when you burn cars, when you break out windows," he said, noting that police officers will be actively enforcing the new curfew Saturday evening.
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."