There was a riot around the statue of Christopher Columbus in Chicago’s Grant Park on Friday. The Chicago police surrounded the statue and protected city property as they were supposed to do. The “peaceful demonstrators” threw rocks, bottles, and shot fireworks at the cops as they feel they must.
Some of the rioters were apparently roughed up by Chicago’s finest. Eighteen cops were injured. It was, after all, a riot. When police are getting pelted with objects (many of them not in riot gear), there are going to be injuries.
Activists and politicians apparently believe you can have a nice, quiet, peaceful riot that’s orderly and predictable.
The clash with protesters has sparked outrage among elected officials across the city and state.
“I think the Chicago Police Department hit a new low,” said Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez.
State Sen. Robert Peters said, “The city felt a need to protect this statue instead of its people.”
The ACLU also denounced the police department’s actions, calling on the mayor to provide a full public accounting.
“We’d like to see an explanation of why the police thought, they decided to use chemicals and batons, and reports of pulling people off their bicycles to police this event,” said Colleen Connell, of the ACLU of Illinois.
The explanation is so simple even a moron like the ACLU guy can understand it. Here are some pictures to help.
Note that some of the officers are without helmets. But they’re dressed in “riot gear”?
“The air was thick with tear gas. They beat young people … I saw people’s heads gushing with blood,” [Amika] Tendaji [with Black Lives Matter Chicago] said. “Police showed up in riot gear. That is a threat. Police showed up armed and dangerous.”
In a statement, the Chicago Police Department said it was “providing security and protecting (the group’s) First Amendment right to peacefully assemble. As the group approached the Christopher Columbus statue, some members of the crowd turned on the police and used the protest to attack officers with fireworks, rocks, frozen bottles, and other objects.”
This is the battle to control the narrative. It doesn’t matter what we can see with our own eyes. Facts are irrelevant. There were some peaceful protesters at the front of the march (some of them wearing helmets expecting trouble), but what are police to do when the projectiles start flying and officers start going down?
The narrative is not about coherence or logic or even the truth. I suppose what the activists wanted was the cops to get out of the way so they could tear down the statue. Where would that have ended? Should the cops allow a mob to destroy other buildings unrelated to the protests?
There is no acknowledgment that many of the protesters were not peaceful. They were there to provoke the police into a violent confrontation. Does that even matter to these liberal politicians and activists? Are they really that naive?
Of course not. This is a war and most of the ammunition is on the side of the radicals. They have the cops on the run. All they have to do is trot out a few protesters who were injured (doing what is always hazy) and they scream “police brutality.”
There is no gentle way to put down a riot. But the politicians and activists know that. And as long as the media keeps pushing the activists’ narrative, the cops will continue to be publicly flogged for doing an impossible job under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.