Justice came for the NATO 3 today in Chicago, sort of. The three twenty somethings were charged with mob action and arson related charges instead of terrorism, which they were charged with as well. It was the first terrorism case in the history of Cook County, Illinois.
The “damning” evidence was a recording of the three talking about fire bombing police stations, President Barack Obama’s re election HQ, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home. However, defense attorneys were able to convince the jury that the undercover officers bated, egged on, and entrapped the intoxicated protesters into making the claims.
The three men’s lawyer did not paint them in flattering lights. The closing statement saw them called goofs directly. They were often referred to as drunks, posers, big headed, and so on. The point being that these drunk, white, suburban posers simply got drunk and talked big to impress their peers. Last I checked that doesn’t qualify as terrorism. The jury agreed.
The three men didn’t walk out free. You can’t get caught during a NATO conference in a major American city with molatov cocktail making equipment by undercover cops and not go to jail. But the jury was clear that they did not see the three men as terrorists. They did not see their actions as intent to commit terrorism. This was a win for protestors in America period. Whether the judge who will decide the length of the prison terms sees it that way or not, still remains to be seen.