Chicago police, protesters clash near Columbus statue in Grant Park

A protest near the Christopher Columbus statue in Chicago’s Grant Park turned violent Friday night, as the crowd started hurling objects at police officers who were guarding the statue, according to reports.

As conditions worsened, dozens of police officers arrived from across the city, FOX 32 of Chicago reported.

A total of 18 police officers were injured at the scene, the report said. Some required treatment at hospitals.

At least a dozen rioters were taken into custody, FOX 32 reported.

At least four civilians were taken to hospitals but their medical conditions were unknown, Chicago's WGN-TV reported.

One injured woman was seen with a bandaged head, being prepared for transport to a hospital, WBBM's Charlie De Mar reported.

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The protest began at the park’s Buckingham Fountain, then the crowd moved to the Columbus statue, with some members throwing a rope around it – in an apparent attempt to topple it, the Chicago Tribune and WGN reported.

Rioters were heard chanting, “Columbus was a murderer! Columbus was a thief!” the newspaper reported.

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As objects flew in the air toward police, some officers were seen hitting some members of the crowd with batons, the Tribune reported.