Chicago protests: Demonstration calls for all protesters' release from CPD custody, including some involved with police scuffle

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Members of Black Lives Matter Chicago are among those alleging civil rights issues and an escalation of violence by police at protests over the weekend, and are holding a demonstration calling for the immediate release of protesters taken into custody in the last 72 hours.

Demonstrators once again occupied the sidewalks outside a Chicago police station at 51st and Wentworth where they said their activists were detained Sunday night.

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"It wasn't until I spoke to a lawyer that the concept of a mask was even brought up," said Damon Williams.

Williams said he was one of a few people taken into police custody during a wild scuffle between protesters and police in Hyde Park last night, which erupted when protesters said they were trying to alert looters who'd smashed through the front window of an Ulta store to police. The looters got away, and the demonstrators and police started wrestling. Officers beat their batons at several in the crowd.

"I saw a few other people being hurt and I saw Malcom, and he was surrounded," Williams said.

The protestors said Malcom London, seen on video in a yellow sweatshirt at the center of a group of police, was still in custody earlier Monday afternoon.

"We are here to demand the release of Malcom London," said Kristiana Rae Colon, activist with Let Us Breathe. "We are here to demand the release of all protestors who are being held for an inordinate amount of time."

London was released shortly after 5:30 p.m. and was embraced by friends and supporters. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office said they were not filing any felony charges against him, and said Chicago police would decide if misdemeanor charges would be filed.

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Malcolm London, who was arrested Sunday night during a scuffle with police officers, walked out of a South Side police station in a torn sweatshirt, uncharged.

"I'm not OK. I'm not OK with what happened to me the other night. I'm not OK with what's happening in this city. I'm not OK with what's happening in this country," London said.

Chicago police said 699 people were arrested Wednesday. 33rd Ward Alderman Rossana Rodriguez said she came to the demonstration to support her constituents.

"I am making a call on the mayor and all of the people responsible for the wellbeing of the protesters and all the people who can potentially be arrested: we cannot allow this to happen," she said.
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