Lawsuit alleges CPD used excessive force during clashes at Columbus Statue, other protests

Chicago News

CHICAGO – In a federal lawsuit filed against Chicago police, 60 people claim they were beaten, abused and mistreated by officers during protest marches this summer.

The lawsuit claims CPD Superintendent David Brown and 20 officers engaged in “gross misconduct” during racial justice protests, including at a violent clash between protesters and police at the Columbus Statue.

Miracle Boyd, 18, is one of the 60 who’s name is included. A portion of an incident between Boyd and a Chicago officer was caught on camera. Part of the footage shows the officer appear to knock Boyd’s phone from her hand. Boyd claims the officer punched her in the mouth and knocked her teeth out.

“The officer who punched me needs to be held accountable for his actions,” Boyd said in July. “I was at the protest and did nothing to deserve a punch in the face and have my teeth knocked out.”

The more than 200-page lawsuit alleges that Chicago police used “brutal, violent, and unconstitutional tactics with the intent to injure, silence and intimidate protesters with unlawful, retaliatory and lethal force.”

Chicago police referred to all questions to the city law department. A spokesperson sent the following statement.

“These are allegations at this stage and not proof. We will review the complaint thoroughly, and each allegation it contains, once we have been served and respond through the courts as appropriate.”

In the immediate aftermath of the clashes, Supt. David Brown blamed the violence on “agitators” who allegedly provoked police into responding with force; by changing into black clothes, using umbrellas to conceal their identify from cameras and launching fireworks at officers.

“That’s not a peaceful protest,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “That’s anarchy.”

The lawsuit claims Chicago police were the aggressors who violated constitutional protections of free speech.

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability received more than 500 complaints related to protests between late May and late October. 170 of those are still being actively investigated.

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