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Christopher Columbus statue taken down after Chicago mayor orders its removal

Andrew Cuomo

A statue of Christopher Columbus in Chicago’s Grant Park was taken down early Friday morning hours after mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered its removal.

Video from the scene shows crews securing the covered statue with tie down straps before a crane was used to remove it from the base.

The controversial statue was the scene of a confrontation between Chicago Police and protesters last Friday that left several officers injured.

The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday that Lightfoot was planning to have it removed.

On July 17, a large group of protesters tried to bring down the statue, Chicago police said. Eighteen officers were injured during the demonstration as they were “providing security and protecting their First Amendment right to peaceful assembly,” the department said in a statement.

Some people in the crowd used rocks, fireworks, frozen bottles and other objects to attack officers, the statement said.

About 12 people were arrested and could potentially face charges that may include battery to a police officer, mob action, and/or other felonies, the statement added.

Statues of Columbus — a controversial figure in US history — along with Confederate statues, have been targeted and in some cases removed as racial reckoning occurs across the country following the death of George Floyd. Floyd’s death at the hands of police sparked outrage and protests across the country and reignited a national conversation about race, police brutality and social injustice.

Article Topic Follows: US & World

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