“Billy club to the fucking skull.”

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Here’s a bit more on that CPD raid mentioned in the link roundup below.

Three out-of-state men arrested in a Bridgeport apartment raid days before the NATO summit were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism and possession of an explosive or incendiary device, their attorney and police said early Saturday.

The arrests were the result of a month-long investigation into a group suspected of making Molotov cocktails — crude bombs usually created by filling glass bottles with gasoline, according to law enforcement sources and police records obtained by the Tribune.

But the National Lawyers Guild, which is representing the men, said they were simply NATO protesters who had beer-making equipment when the apartment they were staying at was raided overnight Wednesday.

The men also were in a car that was stopped by police a week ago, leading to a YouTube video of the stop that has prompted protesters to complain Chicago Police were harassing the occupants, said Sarah Gelsomino, a lawyer with the guild.

She called the charges “an attempt to continue this intimidation campaign on activists. Charging these people who are here to peacefully protest against NATO for terrorism, when in reality the police have been terrorizing activists in Chicago, is absolutely outrageous.”

I’ve posted the video below. From the audio, it appears that police pulled the car over for turning around in a “private driveway.” The cops then proceed to tease, harass, and threaten the occupants of the car. At one point, one cop asks a fellow officer if the law permits him to lock up one of the occupants for wearing a bandanna in public. The headline quote is from a cop the video, who is waxing nostalgic for the 1968 DNC riots. You’ll also hear the line, “OK, now we’ll beat your white ass,” which is how one of the cops responded to an accusation of racism.

 

 

Back in 2009, Chicago PD sent a bunch of cops to Pittsburgh to help out with security at the G20 summit. While they’re, the got themselves a souvenir by arresting a kid, charging him with BS crimes, then forcing him to pose with them for a trophy photo.

But I still think my favorite story from recent political protests is this t-shirt, which was distributed by the Denver police union during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

 

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15 Responses to ““Billy club to the fucking skull.””

  1. #1 |  Rojo | 

    Ah, thug life. This reminds me of the attitude of someone I used to think of as “the cop-in-law,” a Seattle cop who was dating the sister of my girlfriend. Upon learning that I was one of the Seattle WTO protesters back in 1999, he would taunt me with the violence meted out by the Seattle PD at that event and would mockingly promise that if it came to it again, he would not beat me, he would beat my friends while his friends beat me. Needless to say, family dinners were cheery affairs.

  2. #2 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “OK, now we’ll beat your white ass,”
    Well, in IL that can get you an assault charge (assault=a credible threat of bodily harm). Rojo is correct; thug life indeed. Did CPD bring out former Officer Jerome Finnegan for the ride. Or is he still in prison. When it comes to corrupt CPD goons I lose track.

    Pay no attention America, just keep closing your eyes and saying “it’s a free country, it can’t happen here!”

    P.S. Yay Mayor Rahm!

  3. #3 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    And still, most Americans believe that foreign terrorists are the biggest threat to our lives and liberty than “our” government.

  4. #4 |  DoubleU | 

    The one guy was from Oakland Park Florida, make sure he stays locked up in Chicago for a while.

  5. #5 |  MikeW | 

    Heroes, every one! Just ask the good people down at the police union.

  6. #6 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    OK, serious question. I suspect I’m projecting my personal bias on this; I despise Obama and didn’t feel anything like that strongly about Bush.

    Does it seem to anyone else that there have been more of these incidents, and they have been more egregious, under Obama than under Bush. I recall a great deal of anti-Bush hysteria that – it seemed to me – didn’t bear a lot of examination when it came to barbarism toward protesters. But as I say, I despise Obama.

    What do you-all think?

  7. #7 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    P.S.

    Yes, I remember the barbarity of the Democrat Convention of ’08. I’m inclined to blame that on the Democrats.

  8. #8 |  Ariel | 

    This is actually pretty simple: if you’re taught threats and intimidation are ways of controlling people, you’ll use them in all aspects of your life when needed to control people; if you’re taught violence is the best solution to keep yourself safe, your safety being paramount over all others’ safety, or to control people, you’ll use violence in all aspects of your life as the best solution to keep yourself safe or control people; if you are taught that lies are acceptable to attain a goal, you’ll attain your goals in all aspects of your life by lying; if you’re taught that your authority is paramount, then anyone challenging your authority must experience your threats, intimidation, violence, and lies until they submit or you extract punishment. This is kindergarten stuff yet adults still seem to not understand these basic principles.

    It may take time to overcome the basic human decency taught early, and some may successfully resist, but eventually too many will succumb.

  9. #9 |  Radley Balko | 

    What do you-all think?

    I think the federal government has very little control or influence over local police departments.

    And to the extent that it does–through federal civil rights investigations–Obama has been far more aggressive than Bush was.

    Bush’s Supreme Court appointees have also been far more deferential to law enforcement than Obama’s have.

  10. #10 |  Ariel | 

    Radley,

    I’m a Republican, and I agree wholeheartedly that Obama’s admin has been much better in this area than Bush. Bush’s AG should have gone after Arpaio, there was enough there before Obama’s inauguration and I was surprised it took Obama’s admin so long.

    As for SCOTUS, you know that there is no predicting where Presidential appointments will actually go once on the bench. Sotomayer was a shoe-in for “boot-licker”, being a driven prosecutor, yet she has been surprising. The title “Supreme Court Justice” changes people in unforeseen ways, ignoring those who use hindsight to justify themselves.

  11. #11 |  Ariel | 

    Radley,

    The hindsight portion was not directed at you. I was thinking of columnists who said they knew all along, yet their early columns show nothing of the sort. I’ve lived through Warren, Burger, Rehnquist, and Roberts. I keep hoping for a true civil liberties court following the Constitution and originalist thought (that means not just the Founding Fathers but the thought and justification for every Amendment following; the 13th, 14th, and 15th Reconstruction Amendments a good example because each amends the previous.

    Further, Dred Scott was probably right, not morally by any means, but because nothing had been done Constitutionally to end that execrable institution of slavery; Plessy v Ferguson was judicial activism as there is nothing in the Constitution that addresses or justifies “Separate but Equal” and Brown v Education finally set it right, thus not judicial activism because after the 14th no state had the right to “Separate but Equal” given the results. Kelo under Roberts was a whole new low of attacking our basic rights. From a conservative court that should understand the underpinnings of rights and property (“asset forfeiture” anyone as not punishing the holder of the assets? Only SCOTUS could count the angels differently.).

  12. #12 |  Radley Balko | 

    The hindsight portion was not directed at you.

    Oh, I freely admit I was wrong about Sotomayor. And I’m relieved that she has proven me wrong.

  13. #13 |  Ariel | 

    Hindsight is after the fact, you have nothing to apologize for because it was an obvious inference from her history. The “hindsight” is for those who claim they saw it when they didn’t and won’t admit it, acting like they never said anything different.

    I’m surprised that you didn’t go all over me for Dred Scott. I applaud you if you recognized the argument, however distasteful. Trust me, I’ve just used mouthwash to rid the taste.

  14. #14 |  Linda | 

    I was not aware turning around in a private drive was against the law.

  15. #15 |  Burgers Allday | 

    @12:

    Big ups on that. Same for me. The 2d. case where she sided with the off duty cop who would not let the trucker use the telephone to report his accident was a real scary decision to me. But she hasn’t been like that on SCOTUS so far.

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