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John Cusack shares protest video, claims Chicago police ‘came’ at him with baton

John Cusack speaks at a rally in support of Chicago Public School teachers at the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters in Chicago, Ill. on Sept. 24, 2019.
John Cusack speaks at a rally in support of Chicago Public School teachers at the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters in Chicago, Ill. on Sept. 24, 2019. Tannen Maury/EPA

John Cusack took to Twitter on Sunday sharing shaky footage of the moment that he claims Chicago authorities “came” at him with batons as he tried to capture video of some of the damage left by anti-Black racism protesters in the Illinois city.

The protest was one of many which was triggered across dozens of U.S. cities following the death of George Floyd — a Black man who died after a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck.

Cusack, 53, suggested he was simply trying to film a “burning car” before multiple police officers began yelling at him, demanding that he leave the premises as they hit his bike with their batons.

In the nine-second video clip, the Say Anything star can be heard complying with an officer who repeatedly shouts “Get out of here” and “Get your bike out of here,” before the sounds of batons can be heard clipping the small vehicle.

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“All right, all right, all right,” Cusack can be heard saying in the unstabilized video as he attempts to flee the scene.

READ MORE: Lady Gaga calls Trump a ‘racist,’ pushes for ‘change’ in U.S. amid George Floyd protests

The scale of the protests, sweeping from coast to coast and unfolding on a single night, rivalled the historic demonstrations of the civil rights and Vietnam War eras, according to the Associated Press.

As a result, curfews were imposed in major cities around the nation, including not only Chicago, but Atlanta, Ga., Denver, Colo., Los Angeles, Calif. and Seattle, Wash. About 5,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen were activated in 15 states and Washington, D.C.

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In a since-deleted tweet, Cusack addressed breaking the Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s curfew, writing: “Guilty as charged. When you can’t witness what happens in your own city, then the way you see the world becomes strictly illegal.”

George Floyd death: Curfews extended in wake of escalating protests in Minneapolis and St. Paul
George Floyd death: Curfews extended in wake of escalating protests in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Cusack continued to shared a variety of pictures and videos captured at protests in not only the streets of Chicago and Trump Tower, but Minnesota too — the state in which Floyd died in police custody on May 25.

The High Fidelity actor tweeted that he was on the scene “just there to witness what was happening,” rather than take part in any violent protests, adding that the police officers did not “assault” him, despite being “hit by pepper spray.”

READ MORE: U.S. faces new week shaken by violent George Floyd protests, coronavirus pandemic

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Cusack described scenes of the violent Chicago protest as both “ugly” and “nasty.”

“It’s nasty as f–k out there,” he wrote in another tweet. “Everyone is on edge. Things burning. Open looting.”

Additionally, Cusack expressed relief at his speculation that the ongoing anti-Black racism protests might be “the beginning of the end” for Donald Trump’s reign as the U.S. President.

“Would be very surprised if this is a one or two day event,” he wrote. “This may well be the beginning of end of trump loathsome era. Thank God. (This) feels like many streams of outrage coming to a head.”

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Cusack proceeded to condemn the Republican leader, dubbing him a “coward” and “not a leader” for “hiding” in his White House bunker.

— With files from the Associated Press

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca