Chicago police, protesters clash in Loop, dozens arrested and several hurt

Illinois State Police turn protesters away at Dan Ryan
CHICAGO (WLS) -- During another day of protests across Chicago, dozens were arrested and several were hurt as protesters clashed with police in the Loop Saturday.

Protesters on the ground claimed they were holding a peaceful demonstration.

"We were at Michigan and Wacker; we wanted to go east on Wacker, and then the cops wouldn't let us, and there was a bike barricade with the protesters and the police," protester Womyn Wonder said.

Demonstrators also said some officers threw bikes at them.

One protester said police demanded they empty their belongings and that officers made little to no effort to deescalate the situation.

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Several protesters were arrested and at least one was hurt after a clash with Chicago police in the Loop Saturday.



At least one protester could be seen being taken away in an ambulance.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said the day began peacefully on the South Side, but as protesters moved throughout the Loop, tension increased.

Brown said "agitators" deployed umbrellas, changed their appearance and pushed officers, and police "responded proportionately." Some officers were injured, the superintendent said.

"A lot of officers were hit, one in particular ... beaten in the head with a skateboard," he said.

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Twenty four protesters were arrested and at least two were hurt after a clash with Chicago police in the Loop Saturday.



Seventeen police officer were hurt.

Protesters, too, were reportedly met with aggressive force.

"The cops started grabbing people's umbrellas and ripping them apart and throwing them into the crowd of protesters, and then they started beating people with their batons," Wonder said.

Following the standoff at Michigan and Wacker, the protesters appeared to move back and continued on their march with CPD officers in a line formation following behind.

And then more clashes broke out between the two.

"Eventually they started descending upon us and marching faster into our rear, and they started beating people at the rear," Wonder said.

Twenty four people were arrested, and pepper spray was deployed, Brown said.

"I do have a friend whose backpack was stolen by police; although he emptied it out for them to look at everything and they took it anyway," Wonder said. "In my opinion what went wrong was I just think the cops don't know how to deescalate situations. They just bring it to a scary level."

A protest earlier Saturday, scheduled to march north on the Dan Ryan Expressway, took a different route.

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Protesters marching against police brutality head down side streets towards downtown Chicago.



They came to protest against police brutality. Nevertheless, it was police who protected them on the streets as they marched.

"People are tired," said protester Taylor Smith. "No one wants to die at the hands of CPD."

There were fewer than 200 gathered at Saturday's march

Protesters who originally planned to shut down the Dan Ryan Saturday marched along side streets on Chicago's South Side.

Demonstrators had gathered for a rally at Robert Taylor Park in the Bronzeville neighborhood around noon.

The group's plan was to march west on 47th Street and enter the Dan Ryan Expressway, but once they got going, police say they had them march down side streets.

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Dan Ryan shutdown averted, protesters march down side streets.



Original Dan Ryan planned protest route:



- West on 47th Street to the Dan Ryan Expressway onto the Dan Ryan via the ramp
- Marchers will then proceed north to the 43rd Street exit ramp and walk east on 43rd to Indiana, north on Indiana to 31st Street
- West on 31st Street to Michigan Avenue
- North on Michigan Avenue to Roosevelt Road

According to the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications, organizers said they expected 2,000 participants.

Illinois State Police said they were aware of the protest and planned to work with organizers to set up a safe route of travel.

State police confirmed later Saturday that no one entered the Dan Ryan or any interstate, and no one was injured or arrested by ISP in connection with the event.

As Chicago officials continue to be wary after this week's looting, downtown travel restrictions remain in place Saturday.

The Adams and Washington bridges were lowered at 6 a.m. but raised again by noon.

Other bridges will stay down throughout the day but will be raised by 9 p.m. and remain up through 6 a.m.
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