Activists, Lightfoot dispute police conduct during protest

Activists are demanding answers from Lori Lightfoot while the mayor is siding with Chicago police over a confrontation during a protest in the Loop on Saturday.

While Sunday was a peaceful day in Chicago, a number of police officers have been guarding the entrance of the 2nd District Police Headquarters as protesters await the release of those arrested on Saturday.

It's symbolic of the divide over who's to blame for what happened downtown on Saturday night.

“I was spit on, pepper sprayed and beaten with batons,” one protester said.

Protesters say what started as a peaceful demonstration against Chicago police Saturday night ended with a violent attack by police. 

“Everywhere we turned around there was police officers yelling at us, pushing us and not letting us go,” Arias Benitez said.

It happened as the group of about 200 protesters encountered a police blockade at Michigan and Wacker and tried to turn towards Lake Shore Drive.

They say officers went on the attack leaving them nowhere to go.

“Raise your hands if you were pepper sprayed, beaten with batons or spit on by Chicago police yesterday,” Berto Aguayo said. “All of us.”

But Chicago police are telling a very different story about what happened, today releasing videos showing many in the crowd opening umbrellas, which have been used in the past to shield objects thrown at police.

And the video also shows a man on the front line repeatedly hitting an officer over the head with a skateboard.

Police say 17 officers were injured and 24 protesters arrested.

Lightfoot is defending the police department, saying the protest had been hijacked by agitators.

“So what happened yesterday was over fairly quickly because our police department is resolved to protect peaceful protest, but we are absolutely not going to tolerate people who come to these protests looking for a fight,” Lightfoot said.

The protesters say they want an apology from the mayor and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, but it’s unlikely one is coming anytime soon.


“The mayor should be ashamed of herself for her handling of the last few days. I understand that looting happened in the city, but these are not looters,” Ja'Mal Green said.

Protesters say people brought umbrellas because there was rain in the forecast and to protect themselves against chemical spray.