WOMAN PUNCHED IN FACE BY CPD COP WANTS HIM ‘RE­LIEVED OF HIS DU­TIES’

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY STE­FANO ES­POS­ITO, STAFF RE­PORTER ses­pos­ito@sun­times.com | @sle­spos­ito

Mir­a­cle Boyd, the woman seen in a so­cial me­dia video be­ing punched in the face by a Chicago po­lice of­fi­cer dur­ing a protest, says she wants the of­fi­cer “re­lieved of his du­ties.”

Boyd, 18, who lost at least one tooth dur­ing the in­ci­dent in Grant Park, said Mon­day dur­ing a rally on the South Side that she is “dis­gusted” at be­ing a “vic­tim to the big­gest gang in Amer­ica,” re­fer­ring to the po­lice.

“I am not a men­ace, I am not a hood rat, I am not a rebel, but a ded­i­cated free­dom fighter,” she said to chants of “We love you, Mir­a­cle.”

The in­ci­dent oc­curred dur­ing a demon­stra­tion Fri­day that re­sulted in vi­o­lent clashes be­tween po­lice and pro­test­ers who were try­ing to tear down the Grant Park statue of Christo­pher Colum­bus.

Boyd re­ferred to the Ital­ian ex­plorer Mon­day as a “rapist, mur­derer, thief and col­o­nizer who laid the ground­work for in­dige­nous geno­cide and the trans-At­lantic slave trade of Africans.”

“Yet the po­lice is pro­tect­ing a statue of a man who died more than 500 years ago,” she said.

Boyd re­fused to an­swer re­porters’ ques­tions, re­fer­ring them to her lawyer, Sheila Bedi, who called the po­lice of­fi­cer’s ac­tion against her client “racist” and “law­less” and a “lethal use of force.” Boyd was tar­geted sim­ply for ex­press­ing an opin­ion of the po­lice, some­thing the First Amend­ment guar­an­tees, the lawyer said.

“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.

Chicago rap­per Vic Mensa was among the speak­ers, say­ing the po­lice “fear Mir­a­cle’s power.”

“By this point, we have iden­ti­fied that the po­lice are ca­pa­ble of noth­ing but bru­tal­ity,” Mensa said. He re­ferred to po­lice as “spine­less pigs.”

“This is a war,” he said. “If you’re not ready for a war, go the f--- home!”

A lit­tle later, a TV re­porter asked a ques­tion about videos he said showed Boyd “brag­ging about cer­tain vi­o­lent acts.”

The re­porter, NBC5’s Char­lie Wo­j­ciechowski, was booed, and re­porters cov­er­ing the event were warned not to ask sim­i­lar ques­tions that put any blame on Boyd.

Mensa ap­proached Wo­j­ciechowski and told him at one point, “I’ll take your [ex­ple­tive] mic and you won’t even have a [ex­ple­tive] mic.”

Mayor Lori Light­foot has de­scribed re­ports of ex­ces­sive force as “un­ac­cept­able” but also has cast blame on some demon­stra­tors who, she said, lobbed pro­jec­tiles and in­cen­di­ary de­vices at of­fi­cers.

On Sun­day, the Civil­ian Of­fice of Po­lice Ac­count­abil­ity an­nounced more than 20 mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions are now un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Mir­a­cle Boyd

ASH­LEE REZIN GAR­CIA/SUN-TIMES

Mir­a­cle Boyd, 18, speaks Mon­day at a rally near East 51st Street and South King Drive. “I am not a men­ace, I am not a hood rat, I am not a rebel, but a ded­i­cated free­dom fighter,” she said.

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