The Chicago Police Department is investigating after an officer was filmed punching an 18-year-old activist in the face.
GoodKids MadCity activist Miracle Boyd was reportedly leaving a protest at Grant Park on Friday, July 17, when she noticed people were being attacked and arrested by the police. She pulled out her phone and began to Livestream.
“They were beating a white woman with a baton,” Boyd recalled to Buzzfeed. “They were macing everyone. I was trying to get footage of the police viciously attacking people.”
Her filming was interrupted after an unidentified officer slapped the phone out of her hand. In a video filmed by a witness, Boyd is seen backing away before the officer hits her in the face. She ran away after the blow.
GoodKids MadCity tweeted a photo of a tearful, bleeding Boyd on Friday night. The teen had obvious injuries to her mouth and missing teeth.
“I felt that my tooth was gone and I felt like I was going f—ing crazy,” Boyd said. “This happened in like five minutes — from me saying I’m leaving to me getting my teeth knocked out.”
The photo was shared by more than 4,800 people and received about 7700 likes. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle called the incident “inexcusable.”
Demonstrators were at the park to demand the removal of a statue of Christopher Columbus in the park, reported NBC 5. At some point, the gathering became violent.
A statement from CPD claimed some of the protesters “turned on the police and used the protest to attack officers with fireworks, rocks, frozen bottles, and other objects.”
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot shared a similar narrative in a statement on Saturday and condemned the behavior.
“Unfortunately, last night, a portion of the protesters turned violent,” she said. “A number of individuals came with frozen water bottles, rocks, bottles, cans and other gear to throw at officers. People in the crowd also threw fireworks and other incendiary devices at police, causing injury in several cases. These violent acts are unacceptable and put everyone at risk.”
The mayor suggested civilians who believe they were mistreated by the police file a complaint with Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
There were at least two reports of police officers attacking journalists, according to Block Club Chicago. One of the outlet’s photographers says he was roughed up by an officer even though he showed a press pass.
CBS Chicago journalist Marissa Parra said her phone knocked out of her hand by a baton. Linda Lutton, a journalist who works at WBEZ, claimed her daughters were pepper-sprayed before the police stole their belongings.
The Chicago Police said it would investigate Boyd’s assault in a statement to Buzzfeed.
“The Chicago Police Department (CPD) strives to treat all individuals our officers encounter with respect,” the statement said. “We do not tolerate misconduct of any kind and if any wrongdoing is discovered, officers will be held accountable.”
A GoFundMe campaign dedicated to Boyd’s medical and dental expenses raised over $80,000. She’s thankful but wants the attention directed elsewhere.
“I don’t want this to be about me because this is a fight we’re all fighting and I’m not doing this alone,” she said told Buzzfeed. “There is seriously things wrong within the Black and brown community that needs to change and I’m going to do everything in power to make sure my people are good.”