Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy and the rest of the Chicago police department continue to refuse to publicly speak about a preemptive night raid against activists on May 17. The raid took place at an apartment where activists were staying in Bridgeport on the south side of Chicago. It happened just days before the scheduled NATO summit that begins on Sunday.
Five activists are still being held in detention without charge. The forty-eight hour detention deadline is fastly approaching.
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) in a press release states, “The city has until tonight to either charge the arrestees or release them. The city has never explained its reasons for the raid, what they are charging the protesters with, nor provided any evidence of wrongdoing or criminal activity.”
In fact, McCarthy was confronted at a press conference with questions. He responded, “We’re not going to talk about it. We are just not going to talk about it. It’s an ongoing investigation that has not been completed. We are not going to talk about it.”
He added, “Protest-related activity, we’ve had twelve arrests,” when a member called him out for giving an arrest number that did not include those picked up in the raid. And he refused to address the issue even after a member of the press noted some arrestees had been released.
The NLG has released photos: [cont’d.]
Saying there is an ongoing investigation does not make it legal or acceptable to hold people incommunicado, people who are here in Chicago to exercise their First Amendment rights. If the police are going to facilitate unpermitted marches (as McCarthy said in the press conference), they should definitely be able to facilitate search warrants. They should be able to facilitate the reading of rights to activists that are arrested. (But, I guess if you are disappeared you should not be surprised that you would not be read your rights.)
The NLG plan to take legal action if the five activists remain in detention past the 48-hour mark. If they do take action, it will certainly be justified. There have been consistent reports of what one could call fascism, as police are making “routine visits” to homes and demanding people let them search because they suspect “anarchist activities” are taking place.
Here’s previous coverage of the preemptive raid.
And here’s my appearance on RT.