2 Chicago police officers injured while breaking up large crowd in Englewood; other social distancing violations dispersed, police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A large police response turned violent Sunday night in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood and ended with two Chicago police officers injured, police said.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown promised an all-hands-on-deck approach to public safety during what's typically a violent weekend, but it also comes at the time of a pandemic.

Chicago police posted pictures of officers around the city with this message: CPD deployed resources across the city this holiday weekend to reinforce the importance of social distancing and safety of all residents.

Brown beefed up patrols, vowing to break up large parties. Sunday night, police had to break up a big gathering in the 7000-block of South Lowe Avenue at about 9:42 p.m.

Police were trying to disperse the crowd when an officer noticed a man holding a gun and then there was a chase. The man was taken into custody a short time later.

Shots were fired in the area and a second person was taken into custody, police said.

No one was injured by gunfire but two officers were injured and transported to the hospital in good condition, police said.

Three men, all in their 20s, have been charged in the incident so far. One was charged with aggravated assault to a state employee, two were charged with disorderly conduct, two were charged with physical battery, and all three were charged with resisting or obstructing a police officer. All charges are misdemeanors.

The incident caught the attention of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who wrote on Twitter, "We will continue to investigate the incident to ensure proper tactics were used - ensuring constitutional rights are protected - and that CPD officers are wearing face coverings."

It also caught the attention of Chance the Rapper, who tweeted, "Please stop sending large groups of militarized police into our neighborhoods exclusively."

Lightfoot disputed that narrative in her own tweets, saying police "responded to dozens of reports of social distancing violations in every part of Chicago."

Since March 21, the beginning of the Lockdown, police have reported more than 10,000 crowd dispersals, issued 44 citations and made 24 arrests.

Monday protesters in Millennium Park were dispersed by police after gathering too closely as well. City officials said the protesters had not acquired, or made any attempt to acquire, a permit to protest on Chicago Park District property, and that the dispersal was peaceful.

Mayor Lightfoot said on Twitter it's not the desire of police to take enforcement action. She again urged residents to comply with social distancing rules.
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