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Published on May 19, 2012
At approximately 10:40 p.m. on Saturday, May 19th, 2012 a Chicago Police van drove into a crowd of demonstrators who were attempting to cross westbound over the Jackson Street bridge at the Chicago River.
Chicago Police van number 6751, accelerated as it passed through the crowd, striking several people and seriously injuring one victim who was later transported to the emergency room. The extent of the victim's injuries are not known.
The driver of the van made no attempt to ascertain the condition of any of the people that were struck. Witnesses watched as the van passed through the phalanx of police surrounding the scene and drove away from the area. Had there been a civilian driving, they would certainly have been charged with a hit-and-run on a pedestrian in the roadway and taken into custody once they had been apprehended.
No order to disperse had been given to the crowd. The van was running it's siren, however police vans in close proximity to the rear of the crowd had been running their sirens all day, so it was not immediately noticed that the van was intending to pass through the crowd. The occupants of the van made no attempt to use the public address loudspeakers to warn those in their path.
A handful of protesters, three of whom told the Occupied Chicago Tribune they were fearful for their friends and fellow demonstrators behind them, tried to slow the van down by pushing back on its hood. It was then that the driver accelerated in full, reaching a completely unacceptable speed while still in the midst of the crowd. One protester, James "Jack" Amico was struck, thrown to ground, and treated for a concussion at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
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