Two Christopher Columbus Statues Removed In Chicago After Violent Clashes Between Protesters And Cops

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Jake Dima Contributor
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Two Christopher Columbus statues were removed at the direction of Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Friday morning after protesters and police sparred outside the monuments last week.

Crews dismantled the statues in Grant Park and Arrigo Park under the cover of darkness, and the monuments had been removed from their pedestals by 6 a.m., according to NBC 5.

“The City of Chicago—at Mayor Lightfoot’s direction—has temporarily removed the Christopher Columbus statues in Grant Park and Arrigo Park until further notice,” a statement from the mayor’s office read.

“This action was taken after consultation with various stakeholders. It comes in response to demonstrations that became unsafe for both protesters and police, as well as efforts by individuals to independently pull the Grant Park statue down in an extremely dangerous manner.”

Eighteen officers were injured and 12 protesters were arrested after police and demonstrators clashed near the Columbus monument in Grant Park July 17, police told Fox 32. Activists hurled “frozen water bottles, rocks, bottles, cans and other gear to throw at officers,” Lightfoot’s office said in a July 18 statement, according to the local outlet.

Lightfoot said demonstrators “also threw fireworks and other incendiary devices at police.” The Democrat called the actions by hundreds of demonstrators “unacceptable” in the statement.

The mayor, following her decision to pull down both of the city’s Columbus statues, said local government will begin to “assess” all of Chicago’s monuments in order to “elevate” the “city’s history and diversity,” according to her office. (RELATED: Armed Chicago Children As Young As 10 Years Old Carjacked More Than A Dozen People: Police)

President Donald Trump has spoken to Lightfoot and confirmed the deployment of federal authorities to Chicago as part of Operation LeGend, a plan that is set to deploy agents to a host of cities plagued with violence, according to a press release. Chicago — like many other major metropolitan areas — has experienced an uptick in civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, video showed.

Protesters gathered outside of Lightfoot’s home Thursday to protest after her phone call with the president became public, according to Fox 32.

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