Chicago removes Columbus statue from Grant Park in dead of night: reports

Chicago officer ordered to wear protective gear following recent clashes with protesters

Reaction from former officer and Chicago Alderman Anthony Napolitano.

Workers arrived under cover of darkness early Friday to remove a Christopher Columbus statue from Chicago’s Grant Park – a week after rioters clashed with city police as they attempted to tear the statue down.

The statue was being removed partly to de-escalate tensions between protesters and police as unrest continues in the nation’s third-largest city, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Videos and still images posted on social media showed the statue draped in a cloth as a crane pulled up to dislodge the statue from a pedestal before driving off.

Where the statue would be stored – and whether it will return anytime soon – wasn’t immediately known.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was considering removing a statue of Christopher Columbus from Grant Park as early as Thursday night, reports said.

Last Friday multiple police officers were injured and several arrests were made during a tense protest in which demonstrators tried to pull down the statue, FOX 32 in Chicago reported.

On Thursday, reports said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot planned to have the statue — as well as another Columbus statue in Little Italy – removed as early as Thursday night.

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