Chicago police said Monday that what started as a peaceful protest on Friday in Grant Park quickly turned into an organized attack on their officers.
On Monday the department revealed videos allegedly showing provocateurs infiltrating the march, hiding behind umbrellas, then pelting officers with bottles of frozen water, fireworks and other projectiles.
Supt. David Brown said the situation, “devolved into a very dangerous situation in which mob action sought to injure officers.”
The assault left 49 officers injured, including 18 who required hospitalization. One suffered a crushed eye socket.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot lashed out at the instigators saying, “that’s not peaceful protest, that’s anarchy and we are going to put that down.”
But amidst the chaos, there were also reports of police brutality against protesters.
Miracle Boyd, 18, claimed an officer swatted a cell phone from her hand. The phone, she said, struck her face, knocking out some of her teeth.
“There is no way I should have left a protest abused and battered exercising my freedom of speech and freedom to assemble,” Boyd said standing on front of what she called the “racist” statue of George Washington in Washington Park. “I am disgusted,” she said. “I never thought I would have become a victim of the biggest gang in America.”
But a series of videos, released by a pro-police group, appears to show Boyd trying to provoke police, just as some come under attack.
Surrounded by her supporters, Boyd responded tearfully saying, “I will not allow the public to tear me down and humiliate me. I am not a menace, a hood rat nor a rebel … but a dedicated freedom fighter.”
Boyd’s attorney, Northwestern Law Professor Sheila Bedi, said Boyd was acting within her rights.
“I say Miracle has a First Amendment right,” Bedi told reporters. “What is happening right now is she is being slandered. She is being bullied.”
Bedi alleged that the Chicago Police Department has undertaken a “coordinated communication campaign” to silence her. It is very clear that CPD … with its coordinated communication campaign … is trying to silence her.”
The mayor, however, is urging anyone who feels they were mistreated by Chicago police at Friday’s Grant Park protest to contact COPA, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
Boyd’s group, Good Kids Mad City, is demanding that Chicago police be removed from public schools and that part of the department’s funding go toward its own plan to reduce violence in Chicago.