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Protesters Should Report Police Misconduct, Lightfoot Says: ‘We Will Hold Them Accountable’

A reporter was pepper sprayed and other protesters say they were beaten with batons Saturday during Downtown protests.

A police officer hit a protester and his club broke Saturday afternoon Downtown.
Alan Mayne/intheblackphotography
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DOWNTOWN — Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged protesters who were mistreated by police over the weekend to report misconduct Monday.

After days of protests followed by vandalism and looting, protesters have condemned city leaders for not speaking out against police brutality.

Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said they stood with protesters ahead of Saturday’s large demonstration, but as clashes between protesters and police escalated, following news conferences focused on police “restraint,” ongoing city looting, vandalism and violence.

Protesters, however, said police were violent Saturday. A former Block Club reporter was pepper sprayed while covering the protest and reporters witnessed demonstrators being beaten with police batons.

“Now, there have been some reports of misconduct on the part of our personnel,” Lightfoot said Monday. “If that is so, we will investigate and we will get to the bottom of it. We will not spare any resource to do so.”

Eve, a protester who attended Saturday’s demonstration, said things were peaceful until marchers encountered hundreds of police officers in riot gear Saturday near Trump Tower. She said she and a friend helped walk a dad and his baby out of the crowd. When she turned around, she said she saw an officer run into a street and knock over a protester.

“If you think you’ve been mistreated by police, file a complaint with COPA by calling 311,” Lightfoot said. “We are not gonna abandon our values around police reform and accountability and holding officers responsible.”

Meanwhile, police say they’ve been attacked in the neighborhoods as well. Brown said 132 officers were injured Sunday alone.

“If someone has crossed the line we will hold them accountable, even in this moment. No excuses.”

This is a developing story.