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Band says police rushed them, damaged and destroyed their instruments on Southwest Side

Band says police rushed them while they were playing, destroyed instrument
Band says police rushed them while they were playing, destroyed instrument 02:20

CHICAGO (CBS) -- An investigation was under way Wednesday night after videos captured a brawl between Chicago Police officers and members of a local band on the Southwest Side.

As CBS 2's Marybel González reported, it happened during the celebrations for Mexican Independence Day last week. A celebration of culture and music in honor of the holiday quickly turned violent.

"We had people there, singing and dancing," said Marroquin, "and then all the cops showed - and things started to take a turn from there.

David Marroquin is the lead singer of the Chicago-area band El Malo. They were gathered at 49th Street and Pulaski Road in the Archer Heights neighborhood Friday night, when they say police rushed the group and crowd with batons and shields.

A video posted on social media shows officers unplugging the band's speakers, while Marroquin motions them to stop.

"I go up to the cops and I'm like: 'Hey relax, Like, I'll do it. Like, we'll leave and stuff,' and then they just proceeded to push us, and started hitting us with sticks," said Marroquin, "and then they knocked down our upright bass, and they broke it in half."

The videos do not show what led up to the incident. The young band members say they are still confused about what caused the officers to approach them.

"We weren't causing any trouble, and there wasn't any like violence there or anything," Marroquin said. "There was honestly just people, you know, showing mad love to the music and just dancing."

"They didn't even announce that, oh, like, 'Can you just turn off the sound?' or anything like that, until after like the whole situation went down," said El Malo bandmember Ismael Lopes.

Marroquin's brother, the band manager, was injured in the brawl. The band also estimates about $10,000 in damage to their gear. But fans have stepped up top help – raising over $8,000 for them.

"And today, some guy volunteered to buy the upright bass for us," Marroquin said.

But beyond the physical damage, Marroquin and his fellow bandmembers say there is emotional damage too.

"I feel sad about the situation, just because, you know, it was like from the cops. We've never had any issue with the cops, and we've always been respectful to like the authority," Marroquin said, "and then for them to just come and without like talking to us first to try to figure out a solution to it - they just came at us with violence."

We reached out to the Chicago Police Department about the incident. They told us they have initiated an internal investigation, and would not provide any further comment.

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