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Chaos in Chicago: 18 officers injured, 1000 protesters riot, attempt to tear down Columbus statue

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At least 18 Chicago Police Department officers were injured and some taken to nearby hospitals for treatment Friday night after a mob of 1,000 left-wing extremists showed up at Grant Park in hopes of tearing down a statue of Christopher Columbus.

Watch scenes of the extremists surrounding the statue, attacking police officers and also grabbing a journalist’s camera from her hands (*Language warning):

The mob of extremists and rioters — or “protesters,” as the media have falsely labeled them — initially came together at Buckingham Fountain, which is about a third of a mile away, for a so-called Solidarity Rally to call for the defunding of the police.

The march was reportedly hosted by groups such as Black Lives Matter Chicago, the Chi-Nations Youth Council, the Black Youth Project 100 and the Chicago Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression.

Following the official march, at around 7:00 pm an estimated 1,000+ reportedly began walking down South Columbus Drive toward Grant Park, where a statue of famous explorer Columbus has been seated for 87 years. That’s when the trouble began.

“Dozens of people in the crowd who were clad in all-black clothing rushed the nearby statue, surrounding the short stone wall that circled it. Some began throwing objects, such as cans and fireworks, at the officers. A few people tried to climb over the wall,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

As of Saturday morning, the statue still remained standing and intact, though not for a lack of effort.

“Someone scaled the statue and caught a rope that was tossed up from the crowd, beginning about a half-hour-long attempt to yank down the statue. At one point, demonstrators held onto two lines of rope attached to the statue as the crowd cheered on, ‘Columbus was a murderer. Columbus was a thief,'” the Tribune reported.

Nice try, though.

The authorities reportedly held the extremists off as much as possible until about 7:40 pm, when reinforcements arrived and their defense strategy turned into an offensive one.

“They were joined later by more officers, who soon released an aerosol that stung the eyes of the crowd and led to some coughing in tears. Police forced out those inside the wall surrounding the statue and circled the perimeter,” the Tribune noted.

Watch scenes from the pushback below:

The authorities managed to push the extremists down a hill, even as the extremists reportedly tried wielding their bikes as weapons to stop them.

By 8:30 pm, a “heavy influx of police officers,” as the Tribune described them, had succeeded in pushing the extremists away from the statue.

A total of 18 officers were reportedly injured during the melee.

“Officers were there to not only protect the property, but they were to ensure the safety of the protesters and their First Amendment right to protest peacefully when the crowd turned on the police, literally ambushed the police with all their projectiles,” Chicago PD police spokesman Thomas Ahern said in a statement afterward.

As of Saturday morning, left-wing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had not yet responded to the events of the previous evening — perhaps because she was too busy trashing members of the Trump administration for the crime of calling out her incompetence.

Vivek Saxena

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