CHICAGO, IL– On July 17th, in Grant Park, another peaceful protest was hijacked by violence. According to officials, “vigilantes” planned an “ambush” against Chicago Police Officers, which led to violence among activists and police.
According to reports, on July 20th, the Chicago Police Department said that it looks like organizers of the protest knew there was planned violence. However, organizers of the protest are claiming that those allegations are false.
The Chicago Police Department released a video which shows people at the protest dressed in black, forming a phalanx with umbrellas, and then throwing harmful items at officers.
According to authorities, this attack was a planned “ambush” of officers that left 49 officers injured, including one officer who had his eye socket broken, and another who had his kneecap broken by the thrown objects.
Initially, the protest was organized to empower Indigenous people in Chicago, and to call for the removal of the controversial Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park. Instead of a peaceful protest about the removal, there were violent clashes between protesters and police, that left activists and police bloodied and injured.
Among the activists, an 18-year-old had her tooth knocked out during the chaos. The video clips that the police have released from throughout the protest, show that the protest turned in a riot as people clearly hid behind umbrellas and banners.
Protesters used these umbrellas and banners to change into black clothing, form a wall, and eventually march into officers that were positioned around the Columbus statues. Police also said that the people in black clothing used PVC pipe that had been sharpened to a point, and jabbed them at officers.
Others dumped out items, including frozen cans and bottles, so that others could grab them easily and throw them at the officers. Some even threw explosive devices at the officers, which damaged one officer’s eye, which might require surgery.
According to the police, 18 officers in total had to go to a hospital for treatment after the so called peaceful protest turned violent.
During a Monday morning press conference, police said:
“What you see here (in the video) is obviously an ambush on the police officers.”
Supt. David Brown said that the peaceful protest had been hijacked by organized mobs. Out of this violence, 12 people were arrested for mob action, battery to a police officer, and criminal damages to property.
During the press conference, Brown was asked if he thought the organizers of the peaceful protests knew a group was planning to incite violence.
He responded by saying:
“God, I hope not, but it sure looks like it.”
Allegedly, Taylore Norwood, an organizer with GoodKids MadCity, said the anti-violence group was not involved in the violent acts against the police, and claims they did not know of the planned violence ahead of time.
She said in a statement:
“We had no idea that was happening. People walked right into a red action and were totally unprepared for the violence that occurred.”
She continued on:
“If police officers are being taught to de-escalate situations, why didn’t it happen Friday? We expect the city and the mayor to value people over property.”
“After Friday, police will now assume that there may be mobs working with peaceful protesters to incite violence at all protests. We’ll have to change the way we deploy our resources, how we’re trained, the expectations of of First Amendment protests have to include this level of violence.”
According to Mayor Lightfoot, the video showed vigilantes, people who came for a fight:
“That’s not peaceful protest. That’s anarchy and we are going to put that down. We can’t have a circumstance where a small subset of that try to take over and hijack the peaceful protest and then turn it into a fight with the police.”
Lightfoot claims that Chicago has a long history of peaceful protests, and people should continue to follow that tradition. She said people should try to build bridges with others.
Brown praised officers’ response, saying that the vast majority of officers have been professional, and have exhibited great restraint and have upheld their oath.
According to ABC7, Brown said:
“What began as a peaceful protest at Grant Park Friday evening devolved into a very dangerous situation, in which mob action deliberately sought to injure officers.”
“Peaceful demonstrations have been hijacked by organized mobs. We just don’t want to believe people would act this way toward us. That they would take advantage of us. That they would take advantage of our sacred right, the First Amendment. I have ordered all of our officers to wear any and all protective gear when protests occur.”
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Here is an article by Law Enforcement Today about the recent protest in New York that left NYPD officers including the Chief injured:
Watch: NYPD officers violently attacked – including the top cop. When is it going to be enough?
NEW YORK CITY, NY — During a protest along the Brooklyn Bridge a struggle broke out when protesters attacked officers attempting to make an arrest. Among those injured was Police Chief Terence Monahan.
On Wednesday morning video footage captured the scuffle between New York Police Officers and protesters. Protesters from the Occupy City Hall Movement took to the Brooklyn Bridge to march when they violently engaged with police officers. Multiple protesters that are suspected to have taken part in the attack have since been arrested.
Three officers violently attacked by protesters crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. The officers sustained serious injuries.
This is not peaceful protest, this will not be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/cYuDX8G7ku
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 15, 2020
Protesters attacked officers using a long stick from a higher level of the bridge. Chief Monahan broke his finger when he was hit, and two other officers suffered serious injuries. Officers were also hit with debris, canes, and bats during the protest. A Lieutenant and Sergeant were transported to a local hospital after being attacked.
Chief Monahan previously gained notoriety after taking a knee in support of protesters during a New York demonstration on George Floyd. Monahan also asked for an end to the violence that occurred during the protesting.
This attack wasn’t unexpected by Monahan who has, in the past, blamed efforts to disband or defund the police for a rise in gun crime.
The Chief told 1010 WINS radio:
“The disbanding of anti-crime obviously has a huge effect. Those are our best cops out on the street, grabbing guns. So, there’s a feeling that it’s safe to carry a gun on the street. So, we are looking for ways to change that mentality out on the street.”
As crime rates continue to rise so do the attacks on officers. Wednesday mornings attack was just a short look into the danger police officers are facing.
As mentioned, New York has seen a spike in shootings since 2019. Here is more information on crime rates:
Things are pretty bleak with regard to shootings in New York City that took place over the weekend ending on July 12th when compared to the numbers from 2019. The Big Apple was reported as having 28 shootings within the city over that weekend, when looking back in 2019 – there were only five.
That’s what happens when you release criminals back on the street to reoffend. It appears he was masked and social distancing while attempting to murder another human though! https://t.co/o80ObQaZew
— Dave Holten (@Pscc8082) July 13, 2020
The NYPD confirmed the number of shootings over the past weekend on July 13th, which one of the shootings was even caught on video. While 28 different shootings were reported, it actually resulted in 35 shootings victims.
Of said victims, one was a 1-year-old baby boy who passed away as a result of his injuries.
1-year-old killed, 3 others shot at cookout in New York City: police
Thanks to weak DEMOCRATIC leaders the children killed are adding up fast in NY. So far and all Blasio does is paints sidewalks and Coumo keeps talking about himself! Wake up people.https://t.co/zCtVByG2Lv
— Carol (@Carol96208870) July 13, 2020
As mentioned earlier, one of the shootings that was caught on video took place on July 10th. According to a Twitter posting by the NYPD, the following was noted:
“WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know these guys? On 7/10/20 at approx 7:13 PM, in front of 1144 Bergen St in Brooklyn, the suspects fired multiple rounds at the 28-year-old male victim, striking him in the forearm.”
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know these guys? On 7/10/20 at approx 7:13 PM, in front of 1144 Bergen St in Brooklyn, the suspects fired multiple rounds at the 28-year-old male victim, striking him in the forearm. Any info call or DM @NYPDTips. All calls are anonymous. pic.twitter.com/MpG7KOhUpn
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 12, 2020
In the video released by the NYPD, two assailants can be seen firing weapons before running out of the camera’s view.
According to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, he believes that the uptick in gun crime and overall violence is directly attributed to both COVID inmate releases and also bail reform. But, there was another theory presented by one infamous congresswoman on why crime in NYC is on the rise.
According to the often-bombastic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the recent uptick in violent crimes within New York City can be attributed to the notion that people “are scared to pay their rent” and “feel like they need to shoplift some bread”.
AOC on increased NYC crime: "Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren't paying their rent & are scared to pay their rent & so they go out & they need to feed their child & they don't have money so… they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry." pic.twitter.com/oHSTWWJZ6a
— The Hill (@thehill) July 12, 2020
When AOC was asked about why crime was exploding in New York City, her response to what has caused an increase in crime is solely based upon economic disparity and record levels of unemployment. While certainly some crimes can be attributed to an economic crisis – what does a family needing “bread” have to do with a surge in murders and shootings?
Because the most concerning increases in crime are of the violent kind, i.e. shootings and murders.
The 30-year-old representative stated the following when examining why she thinks crime is on the rise in the Big Apple:
“Do we think this has to do with the fact that there’s record unemployment in the United States right now? The fact that people are at a level of economic desperation that we have not seen since the Great Recession?”
While AOC is accurate that unemployment numbers are higher than what they peaked at during the recession of 2008, ironically there was a decrease in overall crime during the recession period of 2008-2009.
According to a report published back in 2014 by the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, the following was noted about the recession period seeing a decrease in crime:
“For some criminologists and other observers, the absence of crime increases during the Great Recession simply confirmed their belief that crime has little to do with economic conditions.”
Statistical anomalies aside, AOC continued with her theory during the virtual townhall, stating the following:
“Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren’t paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent and so they go out, and they need to feed their child and they don’t have money so they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry.”
So, if one were to adopt this theory by AOC, then that would mean that the 15 shootings that happened in a 15-hour span in New York City was because people needed to “shoplift some bread or go hungry.” Then there was the Fourth of July weekend in the city that saw 8 people killed and 44 others shot.
Interestingly, none of those reports indicated that people needing to steal bread played a role in the violence. Furthermore, when was the last time a report surfaced where an armed robber demanded someone to “put the sourdough in the bag”?
While there are all sorts of delectable breads (especially ciabatta and potato), it’s safe to say that the increase in crime isn’t linked to pilfering of bread.
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