Hundreds square off with police in West Side confrontation

A large crowd was throwing bottles, rocks and bricks at officers. The reason the crowd gathered remains unclear.

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Chicago police officers were sent to the West Side Monday afternoon as a large crowd gathered. A violent confrontation followed, as police faced a barrage of bottles, rocks and bricks.

Chicago police officers were sent to the West Side Monday afternoon as a large crowd gathered. A violent confrontation followed, as police faced a barrage of bottles, rocks and bricks.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Hundreds of people gathered on the West Side Monday afternoon and were squaring off with a large contingent of Chicago Police.

It was unclear how the confrontation just west of Garfield Park started, though some officers said it might be related to an incident Sunday in Englewood, where a 20-year-old man was shot by police. That shooting has been connected by CPD Supt. David Brown to the looting along Michigan Avenue and in the Loop early Monday morning.

Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have said misinformation about the Englewood shooting, spread on social media, had served as an excuse for lawless behavior. The man is expected to survive; police said he fired at them before they returned fire.

Whatever the reason, a crowd of hundreds had gathered near Madison Street and Karlov Avenue about noon Monday, and responding officers found themselves facing a barrage of rocks, bottles and bricks.

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Journalists on the scene also were targets. A reporter and photographer for the Chicago Sun-Times were threatened when they tried to talk to some people in the crowd. And a photographer for the Chicago Tribune was struck by a brick in the back of the head and required medical attention.

By 1 p.m., hundreds of CPD cars and officers were flooding the area.

A police SWAT team tried to clear the crowd from an alley near that intersection, forcing the larger crowd to break into smaller groups which then roamed the area, continuing to engage with police. The affected area stretched west and east from Karlov along Madison, and onto Pulaski Road, spreading to Pulaski Road, about two blocks east, where some from the crowd damaged a semitrailer as it made its way down the street.

Some people tried to break into the back door of a business in the neighborhood, but it was unclear if they gained entry. Other businesses along the street were closed, with their metal gates down covering their storefronts. A few had their windows broken.

This is a developing story.

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