I-Team

Intelligence Report: Most protesters arrested NATO weekend came from out of state

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Some surprising stats in this Intelligence Report: The I-Team has obtained a breakdown of arrests made by Chicago police during NATO protests.

After the 1968 Democratic convention, then Mayor Richard J. Daley blamed "outside agitators" for provoking police. Arrest data from the weekend NATO demonstrations proves that outsiders stirred the protest pot: More than half of the 91 people arrested by Chicago police were from out of state, and most of them were cited merely for city ordinance violations.

Of the 91 NATO-related arrests, most made during a brief but violent clash, the majority of those arrested merely received a ticket for some kind of municipal violation such as disturbing the peace, paid a fine and went on their way.

Felony charges were lodged against eight protesters, mostly for aggravated battery of police, according to a spokesperson for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Roughly 20 were charged with misdemeanors.

Authorities say they found no guns but did recover some kind of explosive device in a backpack.

Chicago police say 51 of the 91 arrested were from out of state: From California to Vermont and New Hampshire; Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas Florida and many from New York, according to police superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Among those arrested, Brandon Watts, who has become somewhat of a celebrity during the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. He has been arrested numerous times, and again last weekend in Chicago, this time on charges of assault and theft.

Watts is 20 years old and listed as homeless on his Chicago arrest report, but for some of the recent past his home was a tent in Zuccotti Park in New York with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. His lawyer and family are quoted as saying he is a "deeply troubled young man."

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