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I attended the indigenous solidarity rally on 6/17/2020 and held one of an apparent few frontlines using my bicycle to create a barrier with other cyclists. What began as a fairly peaceful protest started becoming a more and more contentious one when the police decided they’d had enough. Several officers started barreling through our line in an apparent response to an attempt by a protestor to take down a statue of Christopher Columbus. I recall one officer in particular whose name or badge number I did not get, but I’m sure I could pick him out of a lineup- a tall, white man with a semi-large build, like a deflated linebacker. This cop started shouting “Make a hole!”, then proceeded to attempt to pry my bicycle from my hands. When I wouldn’t let go, he decided to club both my wrists with his baton ’til I did. I only lasted three strikes before I gave in, and the officer effectively stole my bike. On the last strike, he hit my ‘bad wrist’, one that I had broken a long time ago and occasionally gives me grief. Although it didn’t actually hurt that bad, I had a surprising instinct to shout “you broke it!”, which he had not done, but my shouting this seemed to give him pause. After that momentary lull was when the officer resumed his aggression and sent my bike away. Very shortly thereafter, I noticed that my eyes were completely irritated, due to another officer spraying either pepper spray or mace into the crowd, and ultimately dispersing us on the whole. This was my first time interacting with either of these chemicals and I didn’t handle it well, as I’m sure I spread it around my body more than it would have if I had stayed calm. I was unable to keep my COVID mask on as I was coughing relentlessly, and had to ditch my shirt as well as it was causing a burning sensation on my entire torso. Fortunately I had friends and the help of other protestors to guide me through the experience, and recovered later that night after approximately one hour in a cold shower and bath, though the bruises and soreness are still there for now. The attached pictures are of the baton bruises- two on the left wrist and one on the right.
I have footage of the moment everything broke out including various police on protestors assaults. Also I am in one of these photos.
I was there at grant park and have video and photo footage of the moment the violence broke out including acts of police on protestors violence. I was also at trump tower during May 30th and have footage of various protests as well.
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