Vance Henry, 50, a deputy chief of staff for Mayor Rahm Emanuel was allegedly assaulted as he walked from a Dec. 27 vigil held for two victims of an officer-involved shooting in West Garfield Park, a Chicago police report notes.
Chicago Police Department officials told the Chicago Tribune that Henry was “punched, tackled and kicked at Sunday’s vigil,” but that no one was currently in custody for the physical assault.
The police report states that Henry and Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) were walking near the 4700 block of West Erie — where Bettie Jones, 55, and Quintonio LeGrier, 19, were both murdered inside their apartment building on Dec. 26 — when a man approached the two political figures while cursing the mayor and the police.
“What are you doing here, you should be downtown doing something about this,” the man reportedly said, adding that “the police are killing us.”
When Henry told the man “to get out of his face,” the man swung and hit Henry in the face, according to the police report. Another person brought Henry to the ground, the report said.
“According to the report, the two assailants attempted to kick Henry, grazing him in the back of the head,” the Tribune noted. “One of the assailants made an anti-Semitic remark. That remark may have been directed at Emanuel, who is Jewish.”
The police report noted that the fight was broken up by Ald. Ervin before Henry drove himself to a hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. The report said that Henry had seen one of his attackers at an earlier confrontation that happened at City Hall.
While the Tribune couldn’t reach Henry for comment, Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins emailed the paper that the “mayor’s office was aware of the altercation involving ‘one of our staff members'” and that “we take this matter very seriously and the incident is under review.”
According to an online bio, Henry was born and raised in North Lawndale. His chief of staff responsibilites were focused in the area of community and faith-based initiatives.