Chicago has had many protests in the last month following the death of George Floyd. A statue of Christopher Columbus had been vandalized in Grant Park. Police took action, Miracle Boyd a protester, said she had her phone knocked out of her hand and her tooth knocked out. She said she had just started recording an argument with one of the officers when they swung at her with their left arm. Additionally, a group of Italian Americans came forward claiming they wanted peace but threatened war if the statue of Columbus in Arrigo Park was vandalized.
The Mayor, as well as the Police superintendent, made statements regarding the incident. Mayor Lightfoot stated “I unequivocally support and will always fight for the rights of individuals to peacefully protest on any issue… Unfortunately, last night, a portion of the protesters turned violent. These violent acts are unacceptable and put everyone at risk… There have also been several reports of excessive force by the police. These are also unacceptable, and (COPA) will ensure that each of these is dealt with and investigated.”
The police superintendent of Chicago made his statements over Twitter saying, “We deeply respect an individual’s right to peacefully protest and we will do everything we can to protect that right. But, we will not stand by, and in fact, we are obligated to act, while City or private property is being damaged or while violent acts are being committed.” as well as, “We do not want to engage in violent clashes with protesters, but when the law is being broken, our oath demands that we act to uphold the law. The rule of law has always been, and remains today the essence of policing and the foundation of our democracy.”
In the end, it seems that it is the same old story told over again. Protesters claim there was no danger and no need for aggressive force and police claim the law was broken and it is there duty to uphold it. Whatever the matter to many it is unacceptable to punch a teenager in the face and knock her tooth out, but on the flip of the coin some claim that simply following the law would have moved her out of the situation and she is at fault. Chicago, as well as many other cities across the country, are divided and until they reunite, history will repeat itself.
Written by Joseph Nelson
ABC7: Chicago Columbus statue protest: Local Italian Americans, other leaders call for peace, threaten ‘war’ in Little Italy’s Arrigo Park
Image Courtesy of Adam Courtemanche’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License