John Cusack attended the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday night, and he shared a shocking video of his encounter with the police. The actor posted an eight-second clip on Twitter, made up mostly of screaming as the police told him to leave. While he tried to comply, Cuasack's camera shook wildly, as if he was not in full control of his arm.
Cusack encountered members of the Chicago Police Department on Saturday while he was marching with protesters in the city. According to his tweet — posted after midnight — he was filming a burning car when police "came at me with batons. Hitting my bike." The video does not show much visually, but it features violent sounds and screaming, with the cops shouting curses at Cusack while he repeatedly assures them he is leaving.
Cops didn’t like me filming the burning car so they came at me with batons. Hitting my bike.— John Cusack (@johncusack) May 31, 2020
Ahhm here’s the audio pic.twitter.com/tfaOoVCw5v”
Cusack's post made a big impression on social media, where many were surprised to hear that the actor had been in the thick of the action. Some praised the actor for showing his support for the Black Lives Matter movement or even thanked him for going out there. Others condemned him along with the entire demonstration.
"My 2020 bingo card was woefully unprepared. Who had 'John Cusack gets beaten by [Chicago Police] for filming a burning car'???" One person tweeted. Another added: "When I met John Cusack a couple of years ago and talked politics, he looked at me and said, "we're all in this together, brother." I'm proud to see him out standing up for justice tonight. Stay safe, [John Cusack]."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot imposed a curfew on the city on Friday night, making it illegal to be out on the street after 9 p.m., according to a report by The Chicago Tribune. However, she was criticized for making this announcement in a press conference after 8 p.m., giving demonstrators less than an hour to find their way home amid the chaos. Lightfoot said that the peaceful protest had "evolved into criminal conduct."
Several Chicago Police officers have been injured in the demonstrations over the last week, with one reportedly suffering "broken bones." Unlike other elected officials, Lightfoot said she would not be calling in the National Guard. However, the FBI issued a statement late on Friday saying that the agency was "aware" of the situation in Chicago and was working to help "restore order" in the city.
Organizers around the country have expressed their intention to continue protesting police violence in the coming days, even in places with mandated curfews. However, they are asking demonstrators to remain peaceful.