With police deploying pepper spray on crowds attempting to pull down the statue, the crowd eventually dispersed from the area.
Prior to that moment, protesters were seen throwing bottles and full soda cans at police, while some even shot off fireworks. Multiple officers were reportedly injured, and some were treated at the scene.
The Chicago Fire Department says that at least four members of the crowd were also injured and taken to a hospital in good condition.
Several were arrested at the scene.
Protesters had initially gathered by Buckingham Fountain for a Black Lives Matter demonstration at around 5 p.m.
The crowd grew to several hundred before making their way to the Columbus statue, which the city had apparently covered in plastic.
The crowd tied at least two ropes to the statue to try to pull it down.
At that point, police tactical units arrived, deploying pepper spray. Several people, both protesters and police, were overcome by the chemical, pouring water into their eyes.
Police are still at the scene late Friday evening, while the statue remains upright.
Some members of the Chicago City Council commented on the protest on Twitter.
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa said, "Black and Indigenous Chicagoans and people from all across the city came together to do what our so-called progressive mayor refused and failed to do."
Black and Indigenous Chicagoans and people from all across the city came together to do what our so-called progressive mayor refused and failed to do. They were met with violence and abuse. It's shameful and disgusting.— Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa 🇺🇸 (@CDRosa) July 18, 2020
Ald. Daniel La Spata said, "Chicago may be the only 'liberal' city willing to brutalize Black and brown youth to protect a symbol of white supremacy."
Appalled at the aftermath of today’s Columbus protest. Chicago may be the only “liberal” city willing to brutalize Black and brown youth to protect a symbol of white supremacy. Sickening.— Daniel La Spata (@DanielLaSpata) July 18, 2020