The president of the Chicago Police Board said he was struck five times by officers with batons after trying to defuse tensions at a protest

insider@insider.com (Lauren Frias)
Ghian Foreman Melissa Ballate Lori Lightfoot
Ghian Foreman Melissa Ballate Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Police Board President Ghian Foreman and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot voted to approve the the city's next police superintendent on March 17, 2016, in Chicago. Foreman previously served as vice president of the Police Board, and Lightfoot was board president at the time.

M. Spencer Green/AP

  • Chicago Police Board President Ghian Foreman said he was struck by police with batons multiple times during a protest in Hyde Park on Sunday, WTTW reported.

  • Foreman said he was not participating in the protest but was attempting to defuse tensions between officers and protesters until the situation escalated and resulted in police hitting him.

  • He filed a complaint to Citizens Office of Police Accountability, writing that at least one officer had struck him at the protest. Foreman's complaint was among more than 300 filed to COPA in the last week alleging excessive force by officers.

  • In light of the incident, Foreman told WTTW he now has a "better idea of how to improve all of this."

  • "This is the duality I live with as a black man in America, even one who is privileged to be part of systems of power," Foreman said. "I am not exempt from what any other black man faces on the streets."

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The president of the Chicago Police Board said officers struck him five times with batons during Hyde Park protest on Sunday, WTTW reported.

Chicago Police Board President Ghian Foreman, who is a black man, said he was not there to protest but "coincidentally encountered the demonstration at a moment when it became confrontational," he told Politico's Natasha Korecki.

Foreman told WTTW that he attempted to defuse tensions between officers and protesters, and told one officer to "stop cursing out a protester" and tried to calm demonstrators.

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"I don't know what was the straw that broke the camel's back" to incite violence at the protest, Foreman told WTTW. "Everyone lost their humanity for a moment."

Foreman told WTTW that he had two bruises on his legs after being hit by officers at the protest, but the pain from the incident, which he described as "traumatic" does not compare to that of his wife and mother when he told them he was struck by police.

At the suggestion of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who previously served as Police Board president, Foreman filed a complaint with the Citizens Office of Police Accountability (COPA), claiming that he was hit by at least one officer during the encounter, according to COPA spokesperson Ephraim Eaddy.

"There is no reason that that should have happened," Lightfoot told WTTW. "What happened to him is unacceptable."

Foreman's complaint was among more than 300 more complaints of police misconduct filed to the agency in the last week, Eaddy told WTTW.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown spoke personally with Foreman following the encounter, the Chicago Police Department said in a statement.

"If any officer is found to have participated in excessive force, they will be held accountable," the department wrote in the statement.

Foreman told WTTW that he wasn't angry with the CPD, saying responding with anger "would not get us anywhere."

In light of the incident, Foreman told WTTW he now has a "better idea of how to improve all of this." As president of the police board, he said "the buck stops with me when it comes to police accountability, and I take that very seriously."

"This is the duality I live with as a black man in America, even one who is privileged to be part of systems of power," Foreman said, according to a tweet from Korecki. "I am not exempt from what any other black man faces on the streets."

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