Throwing themselves in front of a police van, then forcing the driver to take off! Thank God we have a strong media to tell us the truth, right?
Witnesses at the scene, myself included, saw the van conspicuously speed up while nearing the east side of the bridge.
It had been moving slowly, then gained speed as some in the crowd began to let it pass. 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.
NBC 5 Chicago sparked the asinine rabble, which continues to claim that the hit protester was faking, by posting this video, which shows an uninjured protester skidding along the hood of the van. The cameraman was far east of the bridge, where the actual incident had occurred. The protester featured in NBC 5′s coverage is not Amico. At the time of that video, Amico was lying on the street, surrounded by his girlfriend Lauren DiGioia and a team of street medics assessing his condition.
A better, though still murky, video of a protester getting hit and going down can be seenhere (between the 18-21 second marks).
In short time, the 1% Chicago Tribune, along with other mainstream media, filed in lock-step behind CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s story: that the protester faked his injury, that someone had punched the driver in the head, giving him a concussion, that protesters attacked the van, and that the videos, though unclear, seem to confirm this official narrative.
The story, like many of McCarthy’s this weekend (along the lines of “That wasn’t blood gushing out of a blunt-force head wound, it was red paint!”), smelled like the sweaty taint of a riot cop after Sunday’s 90-degree march. For one, I didn’t see a single police van driving around with its windows rolled down. Something of the spectacle of force is lost when a sergeant lets the breeze run through his hair. And certainly, if a cop driving through a sea of demonstrators doesn’t think to roll up his window, what appeared to be a concussion to McCarthy may be a simpler condition: That cop really is just that dumb.
But what’s missing from all the news reports is Amico’s story. Before leaving Chicago Monday night, he spoke with the OCT. His Northwestern Memorial Hospital bracelet was still on his wrist.
Amico approached the van when, he says, he saw his friend standing, unaware, with his back to it. Amico was hit in the chest and fell hard, slamming his head onto the pavement.
“It stomped on the gas the second I stepped in front. It was intentional,” he told OCT. “Mind you, they sped off after this. It was a hit and run.”