Police working to identify protester who injured officer; video released of aftermath

Published: Jul. 14, 2016 at 8:49 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2016 at 8:37 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police say they are working to identify the person who struck a Charleston police officer with "a piece of brick-like material" after a peaceful protest downtown Wednesday night.

Authorities are currently reviewing video of the encounter, Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis said.

A sub-group of protesters left Marion Square and began to march downtown in violation of the permit issued for the event, Francis said.

"Police officers attempted to facilitate their activities in a safe and legal manner; however, the group failed to stay on the sidewalk when asked and disrupted traffic," he said. "When the protesters began to march down one-way streets, putting themselves and others in danger, police intervened to stop this unsafe activity."

At that point, someone threw something, striking an officer in his protective vest and impacting his chin, Francis said.

"The police will work hard to provide a safe and secure environment for citizens and police officers, and maintain peace and order through the use of appropriate measures," Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said. "Violence of any type against police officers or the general public during protest or demonstrations is not acceptable and will be addressed promptly."

The officer was not seriously injured and was treated and released from an area hospital Wednesday night, Francis said.

"The City of Charleston and the Charleston Police Department support citizens exercising their First Amendment rights and freedom of expression," Francis said. "It is important for participants in organized rallies to understand the legal guidelines associated with issued permits. Police and city officials will continue to work with protesters to ensure their events are neither disrupted or disruptive."

Video was provided to Live 5 News from a viewer who captured video of the aftermath of the protest with protesters and police on the street.

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