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 Friday during a demonstration 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, NBC-5’s Charlie Wojciechowski, was booed, and the reporters covering the event were warned not to ask similar questions that put any blame on Boyd.
Mensa approached Wojciechowski and told the reporter 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.
.@chicagosmayor we now have the video of Miracle being sucker punched by CPD! They don’t keep us safe! While they’re attacking a 2020 CPS graduates downtown, children were being shot tonight! A pregnant Womxn was shot & a 14 & 15y/o! You need to #DefundCPD now! pic.twitter.com/gYT4CL5HJ9— GoodKidsMadCity (@GKMC18) July 18, 2020