Ending Incommunicado Detention with an Attorney for Every Arrestee

On Malcolm X’s birthday, Saturday, May 19th, 2018, First Defense Legal Aid will lead a citywide Day of Action from 12pm-4pm to challenge police detention practices and bolster the constitutional rights of people in detention or under arrest. Although every person arrested has a right to legal representation at the police station, according to the most recent statistics, fewer than 2% of people in detention in Chicago actually access to an attorney at the station.

A March 2017 General Order issued by Chief Judge Evans appointed the Public Defender and its designee–FDLA–as counsel for any person in police custody who asks for an attorney, and on May 19th, FDLA will dispatch trained attorneys at each of Chicago’s 25 police districts to press for implementation of this order and defend arrestees’ right to counsel under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Meanwhile, community members will canvass outside of police stations to inform Chicagoans why and how to send counsel to loved ones under arrest at any time through our 24/7/365 Hotline. Our Day of Action will be a novel, direct, and revolutionary way to spotlight a persistent flaw in the criminal justice system in Chicago.

You can get involved by filling out our attorney and 711 sign-up survey, filling out our community volunteer sign-up survey, or by emailing volunteer [at] first-defense.org for more information. T-shirts also available here. Join us 5/19 to safeguard justice in Chicago!