Police have clashed with crowds of protesters attempting to topple the statue of Christopher Columbus in Chicago's Grant Park. At least four officers were injured in the incident, local media reported.
Social media users also say that "at least a dozen arrests" took place during the incident.
The rioters were reportedly heard chanting "Columbus was a murderer! Columbus was a thief!".
Protesters could be seen throwing fireworks at the Columbus statue, as police officers gathered around the monument trying to hold back the crowd.
Protesters launch fireworks and other items at Chicago police officers guarding Columbus statue in Grant Park pic.twitter.com/WCga8c47Ty— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) July 18, 2020
Footage shows rioters hurling stones at the police officers protecting the statue.
Black Lives Matter rioters are stoning Chicago police who are defending a Christopher Columbus statue. pic.twitter.com/XCtMIDQI8z— Richard (@Wildman_AZ) July 18, 2020
A melee in Chicago tonight as violent Marxists attack our Columbus statue and the police.— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) July 18, 2020
We can’t surrender to such mobs...pic.twitter.com/chai7RDwRX
Other videos show protesters attempting to remove the statue with ropes.
Law enforcement had to use pepper spray to make the crowd back down.
One video allegedly taken at the scene and shared on social media showed large groups of police units arriving at the site from across the city.
Amid an ongoing massive anti-racism movement sweeping the United States since May, there have been incidents of violence towards the statues of figures seen as controversial, with Christopher Columbus particularly denounced for the "enslavement" of Native Americans.
The statue of Columbus in Baltimore was earlier toppled and tossed into the harbour by a group of violent protesters.