The Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park was removed hours after Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for its removal.
Two cranes pulled their way up to the statue just before 2 a.m. Friday, after hours of vocal confrontations between protestors and supporters of the statue, including John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) told the Chicago Sun-Times late Thursday that Lightfoot made “a unilateral decision” to take down the statues. Hopkins said the intention was to have them removed Thursday night.
“At this hour, there is discussion about postponing the removal, but the mayor has not indicated any reversal of her decision,” he said.
When the news broke, over a thousand protesters who were rallying near Lightfoot’s Logan Square home rejoiced. Soon after, an organizer led the crowd in a celebratory chant.
“Thank you for the statue, now defund CPD,” the crowd bellowed.