Christopher Columbus statues taken down at 2 Chicago parks

CHICAGO (AP) — Two statues of Christopher Columbus that stood in Chicago parks have been taken down at the direction of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a week after protesters trying to topple one of the monuments to the Italian explorer clashed with police. Crews used a large crane to remove the statue from its pedestal in downtown Chicago’s Grant Park as a small crowd gathered to watch. That’s the park where police and protesters clashed a week ago. Hours later, a second statue of Columbus was removed from Arrigo Park in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. The Democratic mayor’s office said in a statement issued after the statues were taken down that both were “temporarily removed” at the mayor’s direction “in response to demonstrations that became unsafe for both protesters and police.”