Cities and communities across the country have been damaged and destroyed as some protests have turned into riots.
The protests and riots began in Minnesota after video emerged of a now-former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, leading to his apparent death.
Last week, three NYPD officers were violently attacked by “protesters” and left with serious injuries during a “Defund the Police” rally.
Chicago, a city run by Democrats that has been violent and dangerous for many years, is also struggling with containing violence during protests.
Chicago police have released a video that appears to show a peaceful protest being “hijacked by organized mobs.”
Chicago police officials released video footage showing what officials are calling an “organized” attack on officers during an otherwise peaceful protest.
The police department released video Monday showing people concealed under umbrellas pull out what appear to be frozen water bottles, fireworks, and other objects used against law enforcement.
The protest was held in Grant Park on Friday and ultimately left 49 officers injured after it abruptly turned violent.
“What began as a peaceful protest at Grant Park Friday evening devolved into a very dangerous situation in which mob action deliberately sought to injure officers,” Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown said.
Police reported that one officer suffered a broken eye socket during the violence. Twelve protesters were arrested Friday, and Brown said “outside influence” was behind the violence.
“That’s not peaceful protest. That’s anarchy, and we are going to put that down,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “We are actively investigating, and we will bring those people to justice. We want people to feel safe.”
Brown echoed the mayor’s message, saying “organized mobs” have “hijacked” what would have been peaceful demonstrations.
“Peaceful demonstrations have been hijacked by organized mobs,” Brown said. “We just don’t want to believe people would act this way toward us. That they would take advantage of us. That they would take advantage of our sacred right, the First Amendment. … I have ordered all of our officers to wear any and all protective gear when protests occur.”
Amid the violence Friday, one protester said she was a victim of police brutality after suffering a blow to her face. One of her teeth was knocked out.
Violent crimes in Chicago have been on an upward trend in recent months following the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests against police brutality and racism.
On weekends, especially over holidays, Chicago officials have reported numerous shootings and murders, including this past weekend, when 63 people were shot, killing 12.
There were 89 shootings, including 17 deaths over the Fourth of July weekend, for example, while Father’s Day weekend saw more of the same, with 104 people shot, 15 fatally.
President Trump addressed Chicago’s continued violence Monday.
“How about Chicago? Would you say they need help after this weekend? … Did you hear the numbers? Many, many shot. Many, many killed. … I’m not talking about one, two — what is it? Eighteen people killed? I think more than that. And you add it up over the summer? This is worse than Afghanistan by far. This is worse than anything anyone’s ever seen,” he said.
A Chicago alderman, Anthony Napolitano, said Monday that he believes Democratic leaders in the city are “too afraid” to ask the president for help.
“People are too afraid right now to ask the president for help because if it does work, they’re going to make the president look like a success. And it’s a political move,” Napolitano said.
“We are dealing with crime at biblical proportions right now in Chicago,” he added.