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Fingerpointing After Protest Turns Violent: Activists Accuse Police Of Attacking Them

CHICAGO (CBS) -- There was fallout and finger-pointing Sunday, a day after another clash between Chicago Police officers and demonstrators in downtown Chicago.

On Saturday night, injuries and arrests spiraled out of what had been peaceful protests.

As CBS 2's Jeremy Ross reported, dozens of demonstrators were camped out Saturday at the Area One Police Headquarters, 5101 S. Wentworth Ave., as early as 4 a.m. Sunday. They were waiting for their friends to be released.

The demonstrators accused police of being heavy-handed in handling things on Saturday night. But police released a video showing a different story.

The violence on Saturday evening was caught on cellphone video, accompanied by screaming crowds on the streets of the Loop – Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, LaSalle Street.

The activist group GoodKids MadCity described what they said was police brutality during their peaceful march against issues that included police brutality.

"They bum-rushed us into the crowd," said Naira, who added that she had a concussion.

"I was thrown to the ground by three plus police officers," said Jasmine Martin.

"Y'all know what makes a protest not peaceful? Pepper spray," said Alycia Moaton.

"It looked like Armageddon," Naira added.

"It hurts. My arm still burns from last night," Moaton added. "It's been a whole day."

"It looked like a scary movie and we are kids," Naira said.

But police and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said outside agitators came in looking for a fight.

Police accused Jeremey Johnson, 25, of attacking one of their own - hitting an officer multiple times in the head with a skateboard.

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.

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 at Area One had been calling for Mann's release earlier Sunday.

Police on Sunday released video from a podcam along Wacker Drive. They identified groups putting on ponchos and opening up umbrellas to conceal their actions and/or identity from police, and then moving in as a group – with violence erupting shortly thereafter.

But the young activists reiterated their contention that police were violent and unaccountable.

"They claim we had umbrellas? What do you expect us to do? We knew you were going to deploy pepper spray. We're supposed to just sit there and take it?" Naira said. "We tried to protect ourselves."

Activist Ja'Mal Green said officers were going without their name badges, and "getting in large crowds and pulling people in and hitting them and kneeing them and kicking them."

Police said a total of 24 people were arrested at the protest Saturday evening and 17 officers were injured.


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