Occupy Chicago protesters who were arrested over the October 22 weekend, tweeted from the Chicago Police lock-up at 18th and State that they were being mistreated and cited various complaints, from conditions in holding tanks to food. Some suggested these conditions constituted either human rights or civil rights violations.
Director Sarah Hamilton, of the Chicago Police News Affairs office suggested looking at the department’s web page for policies and procedures, while she looked into the identity of the bologna sandwich vendor.
Chicago police policy is to process arrested individuals as expeditiously as possible within 48 hours. While some Occupy Chicago arrestees noted that they were not read their rights, the first civics lesson is that you do not have to be read your rights if you are not being interrogated.
The police have procedures for mass arrests which differ depending on the event. For pre-planned events, arrested individuals are taken to the district station in which the event ocurred. If the district has insufficient space for the numbers arrested, additional locations are identified prior to the event, to which the overflow is taken.
Several complaints were lodged about protesters being held in cells with 30 men (to the police, if you are 17 or older you are an adult and are treated as such). Though police generally are required to maintain single occupancy in cells, they are allowed multiple occupancy if they run out of space, which can easily happen in a mass arrest.
Protesters also complained about a holding cell without a working sink and one without toilet paper. The facilities have to be maintained in a “clean and sanitary” condition, according to the directives. However, if a sink doesn’t work, the police cannot call the local plumber. They must report it through the proper channels to get it repaired.
The directives do not specifically address toilet paper, but it would seem to fall under the sanitary conditions rule. If you had asked politely, you may have received your toilet paper in a more timely manner.
When you are arrested, the police take your fingerprints and run them through the system to ensure you have no outstanding warrants. This takes time, sometimes a lot of time. It is not unusual for the fingerprint process to take 12 hours. Your prints are run nationwide and also through the FBI.
Just because it’s computerized doesn’t means it takes place at the speed of light. According to Second City Cop blog, the arrests took longer because only one printer was working in District 01.
Processing 130 people is a time-consuming process. They do not have banks of phones at police stations and you can’t be released until your prints have been run. It is not a violation of your civil rights if you don’t get a phone call in 10 hours. Again, you are not going through an interrogaton, phone calls are typically to call lawyers and get bail.
Most protesters were released on their own recognizance.
The only valid complaint was that one girl needed her medication, though she did receive it.
The complaints about not receiving food, or that food was not available for vegans, should cause the arrested protesters to seriously consider the cause for which they are protesting.
For one, the police you were yelling at for hours are part of the 99% you represent and from all accounts have treated you fairly.
Others in the 99% group are people who were arrested for real crimes. Though they may be distasteful to you, they are also part of the 99% as are the homeless people who ask for your food.
You claim to be representing the 99% but complaining about food when you chose to be arrested, makes you less credible to others of the 99% who did not so choose, were arrested without cause or may have been picked up for questioning later to be released because the police determined you were not their suspect.
If you choose to be arrested again, you will have a rude awakening when you are taken to the county jail, after a short picnic in the police lock-up. If you really think it was that bad, try adding better treatment for prisoners across the country to your list of greivances so they feel represented.
Since the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any country in the world, this should rank pretty high on the list.
For many of the 99%, their concern is not someone forgiving them the money they chose to borrow to get an education, or the fact that they were fortunate enough to have a co-signer for their loan, they may just be concerned about getting food for their families, paying the rent or fixing their car so they can keep the job they just got — though it does take an hour to get there.
As for demanding food from the police, they too have kids they want to send to college, houses that were foreclosed, unemployed spouses, rising taxes and are repaying student loans. Though they may be sympathetic to the cause and may even agree with it, the fact is they need their jobs.
In short, they too are the 99%.
Either you represent all of the 99% or you represent none of them.