Over the weekend, we told you that three NATO Summit Chicago protesters with ties to the Occupy Movement had been arrested on terror charges.
Brian Church, 22, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jared Chase, 27, of Keene, New Hampshire; and Brent Betterly, 24, from Massachusetts have been charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism and possession of an explosive incendiary device.
“The men had been making Molotov cocktails out of empty beer bottles filled with gasoline and fitted with cut bandannas for fuses,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Authorities say the three suspects also possessed a mortar gun, a hunting bow, throwing stars, swords, and knives with brass-knuckle handles.
Supporters of the protesters (now being dubbed the “NATO 3″), are crying foul. They say the equipment seized was for beer-making, not terrorist activity.
“The charges are utterly ridiculous. The Chicago Police Department doesn’t know the difference between home beer-making supplies and Molotov cocktails,” said Natalie Wahlberg, a member of the Occupy Chicago movement.
An attorney for the protesters, Michael Deutsch, says undercover police officers entrapped the protesters and encouraged the bomb-making effort.
“This is a way to stir up prejudice against a people who are exercising their First Amendment (free speech) rights,” said Deutsch, who adds that police planted the weapons at the scene.
“There were undercover police officers that ingratiated themselves with people who come from out of town.”
According to a statement on the Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild’s website, “police broke down doors with guns drawn and searched residences [where the suspects had been staying] without a warrant or consent.”
Alvarez, however, maintains that police had indeed obtained warrants from a judge before executing the raid.
More in the video below.
- Chicago police accused of planting evidence in ‘Molotov cocktail’ plot (rawstory.com)
- Chicago police accused of planting evidence in ‘Molotov cocktail’ plot (blacklistednews.com)
- Chicago Police Accused of Planting Evidence on “NATO 3″ Protesters (alternet.org)