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Monday, 20 July 2020

Chicago police punch 18-year-old black woman in the face and knocked out her teeth at protest to topple Christopher Columbus statue

An 18-year-old protester was brutally punched in the face by police, knocking out her front teeth, at a Chicago protest calling for the toppling of a Christopher Columbus statue over the weekend. 
On Friday at least 1,000 people gathered around a statue in Grant Park where hordes of police clashed with demonstrators deploying pepper spray and beating people with wooden batons in what witnesses described as a 'bloodiest' protest so far.
Activist Miracle Boyd, 18, had just finished addressing the crowd protesting at the statue when she says she got into an argument with an officer.
When she started to record their altercation the cop allegedly took a swing with his left arm and hit her in the face.
'My tooth was knocked out. I have lip abrasions in my mouth. My teeth hurt really bad,' she said to ABC7

On Friday Chicago police were caught on video punching 18-year-old black activist Miracle Boyd in the face, knocking out her front teeth at a protest calling for the toppling of a Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park
On Friday Chicago police were caught on video punching 18-year-old black activist Miracle Boyd in the face, knocking out her front teeth at a protest calling for the toppling of a Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park 
Video emerged showing Boyd  (in white) speaking with a cop, who swung their arm towards her face when she tried to film their altercation
Video emerged showing Boyd  (in white) speaking with a cop, who swung their arm towards her face when she tried to film their altercation 
Boyd pictured in white and black bottoms walking away from the cop after being hit
Boyd pictured in white and black bottoms walking away from the cop after being hit 
Boyd (right), a member of the youth group GoodKids MadCity, said the officers took her phone. A GoFundMe page has been started to help cover her medical bill costs. She just graduated high school last month and is headed to Depaul University in the fall
Boyd (right), a member of the youth group GoodKids MadCity, said the officers took her phone. A GoFundMe page has been started to help cover her medical bill costs. She just graduated high school last month and is headed to Depaul University in the fall
She added the officer smacked her phone out of her hand and she was hit in the face.
Several videos of that altercation emerged on social media showing Boyd back away from officers before she appeared to get hit in the face and rushed off covering her bloodied mouth.
Boyd, a member of the youth group GoodKids MadCity, said the officers took her phone.
She had graduated from high school last month, was headed to Depaul University in the fall according to a June post by Chicago Public Schools, and was offered an internship with state senator Robert Peters’ office just last week.
GoFundMe has been started to raise money for her medical bills.  
State Sen. Peters slammed the police aggression towards her tweeting: 'I’m sad, angry and disgusted.'
'She’s someone who fights every day for gun violence prevention, who fights for a safe community. And what did she face? Abuse,' he said.   

Hordes of police targeted protesters with pepper spray and wooden batons at Friday's protest. A view of police descending upon the monument and pushing demonstrators out above
Hordes of police targeted protesters with pepper spray and wooden batons at Friday's protest. A view of police descending upon the monument and pushing demonstrators out above
Chicago police said they're investigating the incident regarding Boyd as Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned reports of excessive police force as 'unacceptable'
Chicago police said they're investigating the incident regarding Boyd as Mayor Lori Lightfoot condemned reports of excessive police force as 'unacceptable'
The protest attempted to pull down a Christopher Columbus statue with ropes
The protest attempted to pull down a Christopher Columbus statue with ropes
A protester at the Friday rally scaled the statue and threw a rope over it in an attempt to topple it
A protester at the Friday rally scaled the statue and threw a rope over it in an attempt to topple it
Chicago Police say they’re opening an investigation into the incident with Boyd.
'The Chicago Police Department (CPD) strives to treat all individuals our officers encounter with respect. We do not tolerate misconduct of any kind and if any wrongdoing is discovered, officers will be held accountable,' the department said in a statement to Buzzfeed News.
Following the police violence with protesters Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted: 'I have spoken to the director of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, and she has assured me that @ChicagoCOPA stands ready to address these complaints.'
'There have also been several reports of excessive force by the police. These are also unacceptable,' she added. 
The officer who hit Boyd has not been named. 
A view of cops dodging debris and fireworks being thrown by protesters on Friday above
A view of cops dodging debris and fireworks being thrown by protesters on Friday above
Two officers watch on as protesters try to pull down the heavy Columbus monument
Two officers watch on as protesters try to pull down the heavy Columbus monument
About 1,000 people encircled the covered up statue of Christopher Columbus in the city's downtown area, demanding the symbol of colonialism be taken down
About 1,000 people encircled the covered up statue of Christopher Columbus in the city's downtown area, demanding the symbol of colonialism be taken down
Police officers pictured forcibly removing protesters and members of the media from the park on Friday
Police officers pictured forcibly removing protesters and members of the media from the park on Friday
Overall at least 12 people were arrested and 18 officers were injured at the protest. 
One video from the chaotic clashes shows protesters throwing bottles and fireworks at officers standing ground at the statue. 
One person scaled the statue and caught a rope that was tossed up from the crowd and started an unsuccessful attempt to pull the statue down.
Other videos and photos shows masses of officers running towards protesters and pushing them to the ground to clear out the square. 
'This was the bloodiest protest I’ve ever been to. People had gushing head wounds and the police just kept charging in and spraying everyone. To protect a statue of a murderer. The connected brutality & logic of Columbus’ colonialism and modern policing were on full display,' one protester tweeted on the Friday demonstration. 
Lightfoot said last month she opposed the removal of Columbus statues in the city and on Saturday she said her team was planning for a 'comprehensive review of our public icons'
Lightfoot said last month she opposed the removal of Columbus statues in the city and on Saturday she said her team was planning for a 'comprehensive review of our public icons'
Lightfoot tweeted Saturday that she'd assure complaints of police aggression against protesters are investigated
Lightfoot tweeted Saturday that she'd assure complaints of police aggression against protesters are investigated 
Protestors try to tear down Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park
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Columbus statues have been a point of contention across the country amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
Lightfoot said last month she opposed the removal of Columbus statues in the city and on Saturday she said her team was planning for a 'comprehensive review of our public icons'. 
Protesters gathered outside the Mayor's home on Saturday to protest her support for the statue and the police violence that unfolded Friday. 
'That statue has to be taken down. When you have a statue in a public square, you’re saying that is someone who should be celebrated,' Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa of the 35th District said. 
Late Friday a group of city and state officials released a statement condemning reports of police using pepper spray and other aggressive actions against protesters and journalists.
The document, signed by Ald. Ramirez-Rosa, Rep. Delia Ramirez, state Sen. Robert Peters, and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, added they’re ready to 'work to defund the Chicago Polic,e Department immediately.'

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