A recorded interaction between visiting NATO protesters and Chicago police suggests that some officers are expecting violent encounters with demonstrators.
In a video being circulated by Occupy Chicago, unnamed civilians identified as visitors traveling to participate in the NATO Summit protests are stopped by police, apparently for pulling into private property while trying to turn their car around, according to audio from the recording.
During the interaction, men who are allegedly Chicago police officers ask the protesters if they have "something planned for next week."
After police search the car, the conversation returns to the upcoming protests, and one alleged police officer mentions the 1968 Democratic Convention, which famously erupted into violence in Chicago when demonstrators clashed with police and the Illinois National Guard.
"See these guys know, '68, these guys know all about '68," one voice allegedly belonging to a police officer says to the protesters. "What did they say back in '68?" one officer asks.
"Billy club to the f***ing skull," the voice of another man, allegedly a police officer, says.
At the mention of race issues being a factor in the '68 riots, one alleged officer says "okay, now we'll beat your white ass."
Before the protesters seem to be dismissed, one of the car's passengers tells police they'll see them at NATO next weekend.
"We'll come look for you, each and every one of you," says one man, who is allegedly a police officer.
The interaction reinforces suspicions across the city that the three-day NATO Summit heading to downtown Chicago May 19-21 will include heated confrontations between visiting protesters and police.
The city has been preparing for the worst in recent months, ordering 3,000 new face shields for police protection in February and recently releasing a security plan that includes lockdowns of main expressways and attractions across the Loop.
Occupy Chicago has played a large role in organizing demonstrations during the weekend of the NATO Summit, with major events planned that include a rally led by Iraq Veterans Against The War and a march demanding the U.S. pull out of Afghanistan on Sunday, and a demonstration against federal Boeing funding on Monday.
Occupy Chicago is working with other Occupy Wall Street offshoots to bus protestors from across the country to Chicago to make political statements to visiting dignitaries, according to ABC.
Recording on-duty police officers without their consent is a felony under Illinois law, though a series of court cases challenging the legislation have been met with conflicting rulings. Most recently, a federal court determined Tuesday that forbidding recordings "likely violated" the First Amendment.
The Chicago Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.