Oak Park organizer and past village president candidate Cate Readling and eight others have been ordered to stay away from the federal courthouse in downtown Chicago after being arrested for civil disobedience while protesting the release from prison of former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, per the Associated Press.
Van Dyke was released from prison last week after serving a little over three years for the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old Black youth. The AP reported the group of protesters, who refer to themselves collectively as the “Laquan Nine,” had gone to the courthouse to deliver a letter to U.S. Attorney John Lausch demanding federal charges be brought against Van Dyke.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer said the “Laquan Nine” wanted to be arrested and were asked several times to leave the building but refused, according to the AP. The protestors have been ordered to stay away from the courthouse for 60 days and fined $200. Readling was fined an additional $50 for reportedly bringing a megaphone.
Wednesday Journal has reached out to Readling for comment. The AP quoted the group’s attorney, William Hardwicke, as saying the protest was “in the best tradition of civil disobedience.”