Clashes With Police Lead To 45 More NATO-Related Arrests
(MintPress) – Protesters continued to march against the NATO summit in Chicago Sunday, with 45 arrests made during the demonstrations.
Many of the arrestees were taken to police headquarters, being held on misdemeanor reckless conduct and battery charges, while about 80 more protesters gathered outside the station awaiting the release of those arrested.
According to Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, a freelance photographer working for Getty Images was released around 4 a.m. after being arrested earlier in the night.
After being released, one of the protesters stated he was photographing other protesters while police “kept rushing up and grabbing people, so I kept going back to take pictures of it.” The protester, Noah Brooks, 27, of New Jersey, added, “They just swarmed up and jumped on me.”
Brooks said that when he was arrested, officers told him he had defied an order to disperse, and upon arrival at the police station, he was told that he was suspected of attempting to steal items from a police car, including a jacket and sunglasses.
Even after the protesters were released, some continued their demonstrations against NATO. Chelsey Sprengeler, 19, told the Chicago Tribune that she stayed polite with officers, even after her arrest, because she wanted them to understand that she wasn’t protesting the police force, she was there to protest NATO.
“There are a lot of issues – person against person, us against the police – and it shouldn’t be that way,” she said.
According to witness reports, clashes started when individuals, dressed in black with their faces covered to conceal their identities, began taunting and shoving officers. While some protesters threw water bottles, sticks and paint at officers, many others were trying to calm the situation.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters that the 45 arrests Sunday along with the 19 NATO-related arrests occurring since Wednesday were a relatively small number, considering how large the protests have been. He said in general, officers were showing control, even when demonstrators became aggressive.
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