CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s top cop defended his officers who were seen getting into skirmishes with protesters over the weekend saying he will stand by his officers if he sees that they’re being attacked.
Chicago police have arrested a man they say repeatedly struck an officer in the head during violence downtown Saturday. Jeremey Johnson, 25, of Lakeview, has been charged with felony aggravated battery to a peace officer after police say he repeatedly struck an officer with a skateboard during a protest that turned violent. Brown said the first protest earlier in the day took place without incident.
“These organized declared before the protest that their actions would not be violent. And they kept the word,” Brown said, adding that the second protest took a different turn.
“This group filled up in Millennium Park with the purpose of agitating police officers in the crowd. And I want to recognize our officers for maintaining the professionalism and composure. Despite being pelted and assaulted with, and with projectiles on Saturday night.”
Brown said he saw the attacks on his officers for himself on Saturday night.
“I stood shoulder to shoulder on the ground with the men and women in blue witnessing the verbal abuse, and dodging bottles and other street debris. One officer was even assaulted by a man wielding a skateboard.”
He said Johnson, 25, was charged with felony aggravated battery to a police officer result of this attack has been widely viewed on video by video.
“He was treated for non life threatening injuries and expected to recover,” Brown added. “We will not stand by when people begin breaking the law.”
The officer was wearing a protective helmet and sustained only minor injuries, according to a tweet by the Chicago Police Department. He was treated at a local hospital. Police also announced two women have been charged with separate felonies in connection with the protest.
In Bond Court on Monday, Johnson’s bond was set at $20,000. In court, attorneys said he works at Second City and attends Columbia College Chicago, and does not have a criminal record.
Police also announced two women were charged with separate felonies in connection with the protest.
Nicoline Arlet, 24, of Pilsen, was charged with a felony count of theft. Police said Arlet ripped a body camera off a Chicago Police officer during the protest.
Elena Chamorro, 18, of Lakeview, was charged with one felony count of aggravated battery to a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of mob action. Chamorro was arrested at 7:03 p.m. Saturday in the 0-99 block of East Randolph Street after police said she battered a uniformed deputy chief of police during the protest.
Late Sunday, police announced felony charges against a fourth defendant, Shaundric Mann, 24, of south suburban Burnham. Police said he was arrested around 7:16 p.m. Saturday during the protest in the 100 block of South LaSalle Street. Police said Mann broke through a line of police officers after an officer ordered him to stay back. Police said he hit a uniformed officer in the face with a bullhorn in an attempt to defeat arrest.
Police said another officer suffered a wrist injury while taking Mann into custody. He was charged with two felony counts of resisting and obstructing a peace officer and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. Activists had been calling for Mann’s release earlier Sunday.
After more than 60 people were shot and five of them killed over the weekend, Chicago’s top cop said the public’s help was useful in helping to ID people suspected in last weekend’s looting.
“Chicago is full of people that want to bring peace to our streets. All the evidence can be seen in the response to the pictures and videos posted on our website of offenders wanted in the connection to the looting that took place last week,” Brown said.
The superintendent said CPD made 11 federally-related looting arrests, he said, was a result of information from the community. In response to a group of umbrellas going up at one point during the protest, Brown said it was a tactical move from some protestors to become violent towards officers.
“I don’t want to be to the point where I’m litigating this between different opinions about what happened, but you can see click on the video the umbrella goes up, protesters put gas mask on (and) they change their clothing. You see the skateboard comes up and the skateboard is used as a weapon,” Brown said. “You see the more aggressive pushing into the police officers. And so that that was all under the disguise of umbrellas going up. With feet on the ground, you can’t see into the crowd that that’s happening until something becomes a projectile or something. The umbrellas put our officers at a disadvantage gives the advantage to those who want to meet violence.”