John Cusack Says Chicago Police Charged With Batons, Struck His Bike As He Filmed Burning Car During Protest

A picture of downtown Chicago.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

John Cusack said police officers charged at him with batons and struck his bike while he filmed a burning car during escalating protests in Chicago.

The actor and Chicago native had been sharing updates of the protests on his Twitter page, including one clip that appeared to show officers yelling at him to leave the area where he had been filming. Though the video didn’t clearly show the action, Cusack explained that they struck his bike with batons as they advanced on him.

Prior to the incident, Cusack appeared to be in the thick of protests as they turned violent. He shared a number of videos showing protesters smashing windows and looting stores across downtown Chicago. Other videos shared by the actor showed buildings set on fire and police moving with a heavy presence through the area.

Chicago was one of many cities that saw escalating protests on Saturday, with thousands of protesters taking to the streets to call for justice for George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday. The demonstrations intensified over the course of the week, with Minneapolis protesters late on Thursday breaking through a barrier at a police precinct in Minneapolis and setting it on fire.

In Chicago, there were reports of destruction and looting across the city on Saturday. As the Chicago Tribune reported, Mayor Lori Lightfoot held a news conference late on Saturday declaring a curfew that would go into effect between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. in the city.

Lightfoot said she was disgusted by the behavior of some of the protesters.

“I’m here to call you out for your recklessness,” she said, with remarks directed at those protesters who turned violent. “I’ve seen protesters hurl projectiles at our police department… bottles of water, urine and Lord knows what else. I want to express my disappointment and, really, my total disgust at the number of others who came to today’s protests armed for all-out battle.”

A number of other state and local leaders also spoke out against the violence that took place during protests on Saturday.

Cusack had been vocal in opposition to structural racism and the role he believes U.S. President Donald Trump played in creating racial divisions.

While it was not clear exactly when the video of the apparent attack by police was taken, Cusack appeared to be among small groups of protesters still on the streets in Chicago after the curfew order that Lightfoot put in place.