Causing even the judge to express bewilderment at the prosecution’s unusual withholding of a new indictment against the NATO 3, Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly, a grand jury in Chicago yesterday returned the indictment after they were arrested for allegedly planning to recruit people to throw Molotov cocktails at police stations, attack Obama campaign headquarters, and other targets ahead of the NATO protests in Chicago last month. The arrests took place after police infiltrators, acknowledged by the CPD, infiltrated the apartment where the three were staying.
The apartment was raided and the three were arrested six days after they posted a video on Youtube of a traffic stop in which they were harassed by Chicago police, including what appears to be an unconstitutional trunk search. Protesters say the charges are retaliation for posting the video.
In the video the police can be heard joking about Chicago in 1968 and taking “billyclub[s] to the f-ing skull,” and telling the young men, who tell the police that they were going to the upcoming NATO protests, that they will be “looking” for “each and every one of you.” The defendants now face 85 years in prison.
CBS local wrote yesterday:
It’s not unheard of for prosecutors to withhold the details of an indictment from defense lawyers until a case is assigned to a trial judge, but even the judge at Tuesday’s hearing seemed surprised that in this case, prosecutors are playing things so close to the chest.
The move means, for the so-called “NATO 3,” their lawyers won’t get the details of the indictment until July 2, at the earliest.
On the indictment, CBS reported:
…when defense attorneys asked for a copy of the indictment in court, prosecutors declined, prompting [the defendants’ attorney Michael] Deutsch to tell the judge, “I don’t understand.”
Judge Adam Burgeois Jr. said he didn’t understand either, “but that’s the way they’re doing it.”
The CPD confiscated beer-making equipment in the raid on Wednesday night, May 16, the same night the previous charges say the three were observed filling beer bottles with gasoline. Upon the release of the first set of charges, the defense released photos of the beer making equipment, which appeared to be full of dark, foamy liquid resembling not gasoline, but beer.
Confiscated beer making equipment:
In order to carry out the alleged busy schedule of targeted mayhem, which included plans to “destroy police cars and attack four CPD stations with destructive devices…” and to attack “the Campaign Headquarters of U.S. President Barack Obama, the personal residence of Chicago Mayor Rahm [Emanuel], and certain downtown financial institutions,” the defendants were to “recruit four groups of four coconspirators (for a total of sixteen people.)”
In effect, the previous charges read that the defendants were to approach strangers and convince them to throw firebombs at police stations and other “targets.” Protesters present in the apartment have told reporters that the two police infiltrators, whom they say went by the names “Mo” and “Gloves,” tried to incite the defendants and others to acts of violence. When they were refused, those present in the apartment say, the infiltrators planted evidence. The use of police infiltrators has been acknowledged by CPD police chief Garry McCarthy.