A viral video of a Chicago police officer punching an 18-year-old black woman in the face causing her to lose several teeth, during a protest has sparked outrage online.
The officer was caught on tape punching Miracle Boyd during the incident, which occurred Friday during a protest organized by Black and Indigenous youth.
The demonstration turned chaotic between the police and protesters when they tried to pull down the Grant Park statue of Christopher Columbus, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.
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Boyd is a member of the Chicago social activist group, GoodKids MadCity. The group tweeted the video of the disturbing incident.
“I felt that my tooth was gone and I felt like I was going fucking crazy,” BuzzFeed quoted Boyd as saying of the incident. “This happened in like five minutes — from me saying I’m leaving to me getting my teeth knocked out.”
Narrating her painful ordeal to BuzzFeed, Boyd said she was on her way home after delivering a speech to a group of protesters in Grant Park when she heard loud bangs of fireworks. She then truncated her journey home and headed the direction of the fireworks and began a Livestream on Facebook.
And that was Boyd’s crime—streaming the chaos. She said an officer knocked her phone from her while recording. Aware of what would follow, she began to back away from the officer when she was punched, causing her to lose several of her teeth as captured by a video of the incident from a witness.
“They were beating a white woman with a baton,” Boyd said. “They were macing everyone. I was trying to get footage of the police viciously attacking on people.”
Chicago police said they had opened an investigation into the incident involving Boyd.
“The Chicago Police Department (CPD) strives to treat all individuals our officers encounter with respect,” they said. “We do not tolerate misconduct of any kind and if any wrongdoing is discovered, officers will be held accountable.”
The officer has not been publicly identified.
Boyd has called for the firing of the officer who battered her. “I am not a menace, I am not a hood rat, I am not a rebel, but a dedicated freedom fighter,” she said in an address to a rally on the South Side on Monday to chants of “We love you, Miracle”, Sun-Times reported.
Her lawyer Sheila Bedi, told reporters that the police officer’s action against her client was “racist” and “lawless” and “lethal use of force.”
“She is being slandered. She is being bullied. It’s very clear that CPD, with its coordinated communication campaign, is trying to silence her, and clearly, it’s not going to work,” Bedi said.
The clashes between the demonstrators and Chicago police left at least 18 officers and at least four protesters injured.
“This is a difficult moment in our history. I know Chicagoans are frustrated and impatient for change.
“It is my sincere hope that we can strike the right balance to ensure people can rightfully express themselves and their First Amendment rights but to do so in a way that does not put anyone’s physical safety at risk. That would be consistent with the long history of peaceful protest in our city,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.
Lightfoot further called on all protesters who felt they’d been victimized by excessive force by police to file reports with COPA.