John Cusack shares video, says police came at him with batons during Chicago protests

 newsweek.com  05/31/2020 12:01:56  2  Khaleda Rahman

John Cusack said he was targeted by police officers in Chicago and hit with pepper spray as protests raged across the county over the death of George Floyd.

Cusack spent Saturday documenting the protests that erupted in Chicago on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. On Saturday night, he shared numerous videos showing vandalism and looting at businesses, including on the city's Magnificent Mile, while riding around the city on his bike.

He started trending on Twitter after he shared a video in the early hours of Sunday morning, saying police officers had come at him with batons for filming a burning car.

"Cops didn't like me filming the burning car so they came at me with batons. Hitting my bike," the Say Anything actor wrote alongside an eight-second clip.

"Get out of here! Move! Get out of here," a police officer with a baton can be heard yelling in the video while apparently striking Cusack's bike. "Alright, alright, I'm going," a voice that appears to be Cusack's is heard replying.

Cusack shared another video, which he said showed some of the officers who "gently tuned up my bike with their batons."

In other tweets, the 53-year-old actor, who was born in Evanston, Illinois, said he "was hit by pepper spray" and that it was "truly terrible out there."

John Cusack

John Cusack at the Spooky Empire Horror Convention at the Hyatt Regency on October 28, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Manny Hernandez/Getty Images

He said many protesters had been focused on getting to Trump Tower in downtown Chicago in another tweet. Cusack added that he "would be very surprised if this is a one or two day event" and this "may well be the beginning of end of trump loathsome era [sic]."

"Thank god," he added, saying it "feels like many streams of outrage coming to a head." He also vowed to come out again on Sunday night to "see what I can."

Newsweek has contacted Cusack and the Chicago Police Department for comment.

Would be very surprised if this is a one or two day event / this may well be the beginning of end of trump loathsome era - thank god -feels like many streams of outrage coming to a head- a wave peaking -Chicsgo scene was about getting to trump tower most of day

— John Cusack (@johncusack) May 31, 2020

I haven’t seen tear gas - but was hit by pepper spray - don’t know how a curfew can be started at nine with bridges blocked CTA not running -
Be back out tonight a to see what I can

— John Cusack (@johncusack) May 31, 2020

On Saturday night, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a curfew was in place for the city from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. until further notice. She said essential workers were exempt.

The announcement came after a second day of protests in the city descended into violence.

Several police cars were set on fire in the city and some protesters threw bottles of urine and fireworks at police, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. A number of police officers were seen striking protesters with batons during clashes, according to the newspaper.

Lightfoot express her disgust at the violent individuals who she said had "hijacked" the peaceful protest.

"I want to express my disappointment, and really, my total disgust at the number of others who came to today's protest armed for all-out battle," Lightfoot said during a news conference on Saturday. "You don't come to a peaceful protest with a bowling ball, or a hammer, or a shovel or a baseball bat. You don't come to a peaceful protest with bottles of urine to throw at police officers."

She added: "I applaud the vast majority of individuals who came here to make true and lasting change peacefully, but to the rest of you, I'm here to call you out."

Protests started in Minneapolis after Floyd, a black man, died after a police officer put his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes while arresting him. That officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.

Despite that, the protests spread across the country with looting, arson and violent clashes between police and protesters reported in numerous cities including New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

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