Inside John Cusack’s police encounter during Chicago protests

In May 2020, protesters hit the street around the country over the death of George Floyd. Celebrities joined in the protests against police brutality in many ways, from posting on social media to actually attending rallies for justice in-person.

Actor John Cusack was one of those that joined the protests on the front line. On May 30, 2020, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he joined the protests in Chicago — and got a firsthand experience of police brutality in the process. He used Twitter to post regular updates and photos about what he was seeing and experiencing.

Cusack began the night praising a handful of police officers, saying they agreed that Floyd’s death was “grotesque and wrong” and that they understood the rage they were seeing (via The Daily Mail). He wore a mask for COVID protection so went unrecognized during most of his time on the ground.

But not much later, he tweeted about being pepper-sprayed by different cops as the entire situation seemed to deteriorate. “I haven’t seen tear gas – but was hit by pepper spray – don’t know how a curfew can be started at nine with bridges blocked CTA not running – Be back out tonight a to see what I can.”

The actor also tweeted audio of the police hitting his bike. “Cops didn’t like me filming the burning car so they came at me with batons,” he wrote.

John Cusack wasn't the only celebrity to take part in protests

John Cusack wasn’t the only A-lister to join the protests against police brutality happening around the country. Singer Halsey revealed she was protesting in Los Angeles on May 30, 2020, when the police started firing, unprovoked. “fired rubber bullets at us,” she tweeted (via The NY Daily News). “we did not breach the line. hands were up. unmoving. and they gassed and fired.”

The following day, the “Bad at Love” singer continued to tweet about the situation and also spoke to the devastating effect of rubber bullets. “do not underplay these rubber bullets bc you have been told they are ‘not lethal,'” she wrote. “I had to bandage a man who looked like his entire face had exploded today. So before you say, from the comfort of your home, that we’re exaggerating, please consider the injuries some have suffered.”

Other celebrities who took to the streets to protest include Ariana Grande, Paris Jackson, Anna Kendrick, and Emily Ratajkowski.

“Is destroying an empty old cop car or looting a target violent compared to police beating people with batons, firing rubber bullets feet from protestors and using tear gas?” model and actress Ratajkowski tweeted (via The New York Daily News) while protesting on May 30, 2020. 

While COVID masks offer some extra anonymity, these celebrities definitely aren’t the first to take a stand at protests and use their star power to send a message.

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