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Former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Tuesday that violent protests in cities including his own, as well as Portland, Ore., and elsewhere, appear to be composed at least in part of “well-organized” factions looking to commit criminal acts.
McCarthy reacted on “Bill Hemmer Reports” to current Chicago Superintendent David Brown releasing a video showing protesters assaulting police last Friday, in which a peaceful demonstration was co-opted by violent factions and 49 officers were injured. One suffered a broken kneecap and another a broken eye socket.
“Call them what you want, they could be Antifa, anarchists, Black Lives Matter – the bottom line is they are the radical left,” McCarthy said.
“Peeling away the onion on these events is really important and if you think about it, people have a right to be upset or concerned about racial inequality in this country – and certainly the incident with George Floyd and a lot of the other incidents that we have seen on video with the police – but those individuals who are protesting for racial equality and are doing in a peaceful fashion … we should defend their First Amendment right,” he said.
He said that, when it comes to the violent faction, they should not be tolerated.
“These are well-organized individuals across the country who are waiting for a spark like this to happen and coming here from places and going to other places,” he said.
McCarthy added that a friend who works with the Wilmington, Del., police department has “locked up” people with residencies as far away as Washington state on similar charges.
He said protesters from the Northwest should protest in their own areas and not come all the way to the First State’s largest city.
“It’s very clear what’s happening here and like [Chicago PD’s] David Brown says, you just can’t count on any protests being peaceful at this point,” he said.
McCarthy also underlined that the public and the press should not be dismissive of certain aspects of these attacks on police, pointing to the characterization of “fireworks” being shot at cops.
“I think it’s important the language that we use … about rioting and looting and those are the right words to use, but let’s not call it fireworks. Let’s call it explosives, which is what it is. You have officers getting the tar beat out of them and 63 people getting shot in the city of Chicago and 12 getting murdered and the lead story is ’20 complaints filed against officers’…”