President Of The Chicago Police Board Says Officers Struck Him With Their Batons During Protest

Police officers stand during a protest.
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The president of Chicago’s Police Board says officers struck him with batons multiple times during a protest in the city’s Hyde Park last weekend, one of hundreds of complaints filed this week against police officers in the city.

Ghian Foreman, who leads the Chicago Police Board, told WTTW News that he was struck by at least one officer during a protest calling for justice for George Floyd. As the report noted, Foreman said he was left with bruises on his leg during the demonstration against police brutality, leaving him in pain.

The Chicago Police Board is an independent body made up of civilians, providing oversight to certain aspects of the Chicago Police Department. Foreman has been the president for the last two years.

As the report noted, Foreman had the support of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who urged the Police Board president to file a formal complaint about the incident.

“There is no reason that that should have happened,” she said this week, adding that she would not tolerate any officers who cross the line. “What happened to him is unacceptable.”

Foreman then filed a complaint with the Citizens Office of Police Accountability, naming the officer who he said assaulted him. As the report noted, Chicago police are facing 344 complaints of misconduct, stemming from between midnight on May 29 and 7 a.m. on Friday, when a number of protests took place in the city following Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. The department has long been accused of improper and harsh treatment of suspects and has come under fire for the killing of black teen Laquan McDonald in 2014.

Police across the country are facing scrutiny this week for what critics have seen as heavy-handed tactics in response to protests, including some that have remained peaceful. President Donald Trump has also been criticized for his response to the demonstrations, especially after an incident on Monday in which law enforcement officers aggressively pushed peaceful protesters away from the White House so that Trump could have a photo-op in front of a nearby church.

Some of the protests in Chicago had grown violent, with video showing some demonstrators clashing with police and destroying or damaging property.

As the WTTW News report noted, Foreman has served on the Police Board since 2010, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed him as president of the board in 2018, replacing Lightfoot when she resigned from the board to run for mayor.