Shots fired as police clash with protesters in Chicago, Portland and Ferguson on anniversary of Michael Brown's death

James Crump
·5-min read
A broken storefront window is seen after parts of the city had widespread looting and vandalism, on 10 August 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Police made several arrests during the night of unrest and recovered at least one firearm: (2020 Getty Images)
A broken storefront window is seen after parts of the city had widespread looting and vandalism, on 10 August 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Police made several arrests during the night of unrest and recovered at least one firearm: (2020 Getty Images)

Shots were fired in downtown Chicago, as police clashed with police in Portland and Ferguson on the anniversary of Michael Brown‘s death at the hands of a Missouri police officer.

Early Monday morning, hundreds of protesters smashed windows, stole from shops and clashed with police in downtown Chicago, following an incident on Sunday afternoon.

Shots were also fired at the police at one point and officers fired back, but nobody was injured in the incident, according to police spokesman Tom Ahern.

The unrest that mainly took place in the city’s Magnificent Mile shopping district begun just after midnight, and followed dozens of protesters clashing with police earlier in the day after officers wounded a man in Englewood, just 10 miles from downtown Chicago.

Residents were misinformed that the police had fatally shot a child, which led to an angry crowd forming in the neighbourhood on Sunday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The incident in Englewood occurred on the sixth anniversary of the death of 18-year-old Mr Brown, who was killed by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, on 9 August 2014. His death sparked weeks of protests and helped form the Black Lives Matter movement.

In July, it was announced that Mr Wilson will not be charged for Mr Browns’ death, and peaceful protests and memorial services were held in his honour on Sunday.

A small demonstration in honour of Mr Brown outside the police headquarters in Ferguson also turned ugly when riot police used batons and pepper spray to make a series of arrests.

At a separate protest in tribute to Mr Brown in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday, at least eight people were arrested, as police appeared to use flash grenades and pepper sprayed a demonstrator.

Police clashed with protesters in numerous states in the US on Sunday, including in Portland, where a small group of demonstrators marched to the Portland Police Association building and blocked roads and started fires.

Over the weekend, at least 33 people were arrested during protests in Portland, while two police officers were treated in hospital, as five others reported injuries.

Black Lives Matter protests have been taking place in Portland and the US as a whole for the last two months, following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Mr Floyd’s death sparked protests in every state in the US in opposition to police brutality against African Americans, and protesters in Portland have called for reform of the city’s police department

Last month, the Trump administration deployed federal agents to the city after the federal courthouse had become a target of nightly violence.

Despite previously supporting protests, mayor Ted Wheeler called for violence to stop on Thursday after some demonstrators started a fire outside the Police Bureau’s East Precinct building.

Although they are not attracting the same crowds as they did in July when federal agents patrolled the city, some protests in Portland have become more violent in the last week, as other peaceful demonstrations continue separately.

In reaction to more violence over the weekend, president Donald Trump tweeted that Portland should use the National Guard to stop protesters.

He tweeted: “Portland, which is out of control, should finally, after almost 3 months, bring in the National Guard. The Mayor and Governor are putting people’s lives at risk. They will be held responsible. The Guard is ready to act immediately. The Courthouse is secured by Homeland!”

The National Guard was deployed in multiple states across the US during protests in June and July, but so far Portland has not used them, despite the Trump administration deploying federal agents to protect the courthouse last month.

On Sunday, during a pro-police rally in Seattle, Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with members of alt-right group the Proud Boys, outside Seattle City Hall.

The Proud Boys, which is a male only organisation with a history of white supremacy, clashed with anti-racism protesters after marching through a crowd of them who were there to demonstrate against racial inequality and police brutality.

Punches were thrown as protesters were injured on both sides, and one Black Lives Matter protester was pepper-sprayed by a member of the Proud Boys, according to KOMO News.

Louisville, Kentucky, also saw unrest over the weekend, as 12 protesters were arrested on Saturday as rubbish bins were set on fire and drivers were targeted by demonstrators, according to the Courier Journal.

Black Lives Matter protests coincided with other demonstrations against police brutality and racial inequality in Louisville in May, after Breonna Taylor was killed when police broke down her door in an attempted drug raid, and shot her eight times. No narcotics were found in her residence.

Police spokesman Lamont Washington confirmed that eight of the 12 arrested on Saturday were charged with felonies, while the other four were charged with misdemeanours.

“This evening, protesters, during their march, blocked roadways, surrounded vehicles that tried to avoid the protest, shot paintballs (at) passing motorists, destroyed property at 4th Street Live while it was occupied with patrons, set trash cans on fire, and then continued to Jefferson Square,” Mr Washington told the Journal.

“Based off these actions, the assembly was deemed unlawful.”

On Saturday, at a rally that demanded justice for Ms Taylor, Mr Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr said that he was “dying inside,” according to the Daily Mail.

Speaking about Ms Taylor’s death, he said: “I can only imagine what the family goes through every day when they wake up not seeing those smiles. No talk. No hugs,” and added: “Those things will definitely kill you from the inside out.

“We might look OK in the face, but we dying in the inside.”

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