CPD officer among 3 pepper sprayed during pro-Israel event, pro-Palestinian rally in Skokie: police

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Monday, October 23, 2023
3 pepper sprayed during pro-Israel event, pro-Palestinian rally
A pro-Israel event and a pro-Palestinian protest in Skokie ended with three people being pepper sprayed, including a Chicago police officer.

SKOKIE, Ill. (WLS) -- A pro-Israel event and a pro-Palestinian protest ended in chaos and at least two men being taken into police custody in Skokie on Sunday.

Hundreds gathered inside an event space for a show of solidarity with Israel while some pro-Palestinian supporters were outside to protest that event.

The organizer of the pro-Palestinian rally says he saw someone fire a gun, but Skokie police have not confirmed that. But, police said three people, including a Chicago police officer, were pepper sprayed during the rally.

Police were seen responding to a disturbance during a demonstration by about 200 Palestinian supporters.

Officers were seen tackling someone to the ground, and then, leading at least two men away in custody.

SEE ALSO | Supporters of Palestinians, Israelis call for ceasefire at downtown protest, North Side prayer

It happened while a show of solidarity with Israel was underway indoors at Ateras Ayala in Skokie.

Yinam Cohen, the Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, spoke to hundreds of people, who came together to support those in Israel and condemn the deadly Hamas attacks that happened more than two weeks ago.

"Over 30 Israeli communities have been destroyed, making it the deadliest killing of Jews since the Holocaust," Cohen said.

Outside, Palestinian supporters rallied against the event, cancelling a demonstration planned for Sunday in downtown Chicago to do so.

In response, police set up a perimeter around the shopping plaza on Touhy Avenue and only allowed people with a ticket to the event on the premises, leaving demonstrators to protest yards away from the entrance.

"We're going to make the best out of it as much as we can, but this is not where we wanted to be. We should have the right to be within sight and sound," said USPCN National Chair Hatem Abudayyeh.

Police said one person was arrested, but released without charges.

A second person was arrested in connection to the pepper spray incident while that case remains under investigation.

The video in the player above is from a previous report.