Chicago Police were well prepared for NATO protesters
The trial in the case of three Occupy activists known as the “NATO 3,” who face terrorism and other felony conspiracy charges, began in Chicago today.
Brian Church, 22, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jared Chase, 29, of Keene, New Hampshire, and Brent Betterly, 25, who lived in Massachusetts, were arrested days before a NATO summit in Chicago on May 16, 2012. The state alleged they were plotting to “destroy police cars and attack four Chicago Police district stations with destructive devices, in an effort to undermine the police response to the conspirators’ other planned actions for the NATO Summit.” It suggested they were considering targeting President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign headquarters. They had allegedly made Molotov cocktails.
But defense attorneys strongly insisted the three had no intent to commit a criminally violent act and, in fact, it was two undercover police officers who had encouraged the three to consider launching attacks against targets in Chicago during the NATO summit.
During opening arguments, defense attorneys for each of the defendants highlighted a spying operation by the Chicago Police’s intelligence unit. They sent police to community group meetings, marches, bars, punk rock shows, and other public events in search of targets—”anarchists” or “black bloc.”
Nadia Chikko, one of the undercover police who infiltrated Occupy Chicago and helped the Chicago police target the NATO 3 as “Gloves,” listened to conversations for any indication of “planned criminal activity.” She listened for talk of violence and terrorism."