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Protesters hurl fireworks at cops during protest at Christopher Columbus statue in Chicago

Chicago cops unleashed tear gas and charged on protesters Friday night after they attempted to tear down a statue of Christopher Columbus and threw fireworks at officers. 

At least four people were injured after chaos erupted in Grant Park as hundreds of demonstrators gathered around the Columbus statue and vandalized it with graffiti. 

The protesters aimed fireworks at police guarding the statue to push them back before they tied the monument up with ropes and tried to drag it down. 

ABC 7 Chicago reported that at least one person was arrested, who had also sustained injuries that were being evaluated at the scene.   

Protesters hurled fireworks  at police in Chicago on Friday night 

The protest attempted to pull down a Christopher Columbus statue

The protest attempted to pull down a Christopher Columbus statue

Shocking video showed fireworks exploding beside officers who were forced to retreat

Shocking video showed fireworks exploding beside officers who were forced to retreat

At least four were injured in the chaos in Grant Park on Friday night

At least four were injured in the chaos in Grant Park on Friday night

According to WGN9, officers attempted to guard the statue but were hit with fireworks, bottles, and other items and forced to back away.  

They returned with pepper spray and clashed with protesters as authorities regained control over the area and pushed the demonstration away from the monument.  

Protesters on bikes blocked of an intersection close by from around 9.30pm as they faced off with police and drove motorists away. 

The large group was seen lining up along the four sides of the intersection in a circle as cars and emergency services looked on. 

Protesters in the center were seen waving a large black flag as more demonstrators joined.   

The main demonstration began earlier in the evening with rally planned for Black and Indigenous people in Buckingham Fountain, according to ABC 7 Chicago. 

The group was calling for the defunding of the Chicago Police Department, saying the money should be invested in neighborhoods. 

Hundreds gathered to hear speeches before peacefully marching toward Grant Park. 

‘There is a long list of names that will never be a hashtag… we cannot be out here every single time they kill one of us… that’s why we need to have community control of the motherf*****g cops ,’ one speech said, according to reporter Grace Del Vecchio

The officers pulled bikes from protesters and they forced them away

The officers pulled bikes from protesters and they forced them away

Protesters linked arms at they tried to stand down police but were eventually forced to move as more tear gas was used as police herded them away from the statue

 Protesters linked arms at they tried to stand down police but were eventually forced to move as more tear gas was used as police herded them away from the statue

A great number of cops returned to secure the area around the state using tear gas

A great number of cops returned to secure the area around the state using tear gas

Some taunted the cops present by shouting, ‘Your about to lose your jobs.’

Many traveled with bikes as they chanted ‘Black Lives Matter’ and held signs reading ‘Defund the Police’. 

Cops lined the path being taken by protesters but the demonstration remained peaceful until it reached the Columbus statue and a wave of fireworks was unleashed on officers surrounding the monument. 

Several injuries were reported as footage of the incident shows fireworks exploding just beside officers, as one falls to the ground. 

A heavy barrage of other items continued to be thrown at officers until they backed away. 

As cops fled, protesters surrounded the statue pulling off the covering over it to vandalize it and begin attempts to pull it down. 

‘Bring it down,’ was chanted as two groups tried to dismantle the statue. 

Some shouted at those filming the attempt and the earlier vandalization to stop. 

Protesters on bikes blocked off an intersection later in the evening

Protesters on bikes blocked off an intersection later in the evening

The demonstrators gathered in a circle forcing cars on four sides to turn around

The demonstrators gathered in a circle forcing cars on four sides to turn around

The group marched along Columbus Ave after being forced away from the statue

The group marched along Columbus Ave after being forced away from the statue

Chicago police quickly returned in greater numbers, however, and used batons and tear gas to beat back the protesters. 

Protesters linked arms at they tried to stand down police but were eventually forced to move as more tear gas was used.  

Angry clashes were seen as the protesters were herded out of the area and cops removed the ropes from the statue.

Video footage showed bikes being pulled from protesters by police officers as they were charged in riot gear and more fireworks exploded close by. 

‘Who do you serve, who do you protect?’ protesters shouted as they backed away. 

A large number remained watching outside the periphery, still choking on tear gas, as the Chicago police took control of the area.

A group then turned to Columbus Avenue where they continued a stand off with officers and  planned to march back to Buckingham Fountain.  

According to ABC7, four people were injured during the chaos and transported to a local hospital. They are said to be in a good condition.   



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk