Update 10/16: As I write this DJ is still sitting in jail. The page says "bond in process" but I do not believe this to be true, until I get updated otherwise. His next court day is 11/9/2012 at:
5600 West Old Orchard Road
Skokie, Illinois 60076
This update comes via way of Occupy Chicago Court Support. The web team routinely keeps in touch with them to find out what is going on with DJ and the NATO 5. This is the report back from DJ's latest hearing. Please send him letters and books!
DANNY JOHNSON'S HEARING UPDATE, OCTOBER 9TH:
Prior to the hearing the state attorney approached DJ's attorneys and offered a plea bargain. They would reduce DJ's charges to a misdemeanor, for time served and 1 year probation. Given that it was very likely DJ was going to be held in jail until his trial, which hasn't even been set, DJ decided to take the plea bargain. DJ's attorneys, the state attorney and the judge met in her chambers to discuss it. The state approached us with this offer, so usually the judge just signs off on it. She stated that DJ was "nomadic" and she wanted a pretrial investigation prior to agreeing to the terms. (Nevermind that he was on a walk for social justice, with intention. Didn't Gandhi walk to the sea? Haven't others gone on political walks, and put their things in storage? Is that criminal?)
This investigation involves establishing where he has family, where he was last living, where he went to school, etc. The state has 30 days to complete this investigation. DJ's attorneys presented a 6 month sublease agreement DJ had signed, and two letters from employers offering employment. They asked that he be released on ankle monitor for the 30 days. She said no. He will be held at Cook County Jail. DJ's attorneys feel strongly that in the end, she is going to agree to the plea agreement. How is this not to feel punitive? So by the end of this, DJ will have served 2 1/2 months in jail for a misdemeanor.
The sheriff's department reported that DJ had "violated" the ankle monitor program because he did not go to the church, but asked to be released somewhere else. This is flat out false. The sheriff refused to release him to the church, and I even called the pastor when it was happening, and the pastor called the sheriff and they told him they would not release him to a church, and that he had to provide a different address if he was to be released. Nevermind that DJ didn't do anything to begin with, which multiple eye witnesses can substantiate, including an NLG legal observer. Nevermind that DJ turned himself in, and is still being made out to be a "flight risk." Nevermind that he has sustantiated that he is establishing himself here in Chicago.
DJ just wants out of Cook County Jail, and is willing to plead to something he didn't even do, to be out of the jail, and out of this fiasco after a year's probation. This is what the system does. It wears people down, it punishes them before being found guilty, it punishes the poor, it punishes those brave enough to speak out, it punishes people of color. And it is through this, person by person by person that they attempt to dismantle a movement.
Given that DJ is going to be in jail for 30 more days, he needs books mailed which keep him sane, he needs your letters and postcards, he needs commissary because he needs to buy toiletries, envelopes, paper, and stamps for mailing letters. He needs long underwear and warm socks, because he can see his own breath inside his cell, and it's only getting colder. I am seeking employment, and am financially stressed myself as my savings are all but drained. I need to put money on his phone account so he can call me and his attorneys (at insane rates of $10 a call.) Any assistance in any of these ways, is greatly appreciated.
I am angry today. I'm tired of chasing the dangling carrot of freedom for DJ, to only have oppressive and unjust obstacles placed in our way. Even when you're willing to plead guilty to something you didn't even do, one remains incarcerated. This is the system we are up against. Take notes. Could be any one of us one day soon...Let's take care of DJ as best we can during these 30 days. They aren't going to be easy...
To make contributions:
To send mail or books:
Cook County Dept. of Corrections
PO Box 089002
Chicago, IL 60608
(Books one per envelope, paperback)