Polar Plunge – December 21, 2019

WHAT IS REASONABLE? We’re jumping into Lake Michigan in December to find out.

A growing team will jump into Lake Michigan at 2pm on Saturday, December 21st if no hearing has been set on 02019-3873 and at least $500 is donated per jumper by then HERE. Note the name of the person who’s jump you wish to sponsor! 

Max Suchan 

Assistant Public Defender, founding member of their historic new 24-hour unit 

Lawrence Redmond

Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression & long time FDLA attorney

Mariana Karampelas

Attorney, board member for FDLA and Latino Union   

Zoraima Cruz

FDLA development manager & AmeriCorps alumna

Eliza Solowiej

FDLA executive director, attorney and long-time volunteer

Charles Jones

Violence interrupter & FDLA know your rights advocate 

Daniel Massoglia

Mental health advocate & FDLA attorney

They are so down for the cause, THEY WILL DO IT.

2020 Must be the year we end incommunicado detention.

Q: What is incommunicado detention?

A: At this very moment, people including children and the mentally ill are being held by Chicago police as cases are being built against them, with no way to get a lawyer even though free public defense is available if they can get to a phone!

Q: Why on earth are they taking this leap?

A: Despite our 25 years of teaching Know Your Rights and organizing for public defense to be available for anyone under arrest, less than 2% are actually able to attain legal representation in Chicago police stations, including children and the mentally ill. 

The Miranda rights we all know from the movies mean that the other 98%+ have the right to counsel but instead are alone with police and prosecutors because they are not allowed to use the phones at the station until it’s too late.

Q: What about Miranda? How can this even be??!!

A: Illinois law provides the right to call for a lawyer within a “reasonable time” upon arrest. Chicago police allow calls at the very end of up-to 3 days under arrest, if at all, and no court or legislation has ever defined “reasonable.”

Q: What IS reasonable?

A: Ordinance O2019-3873 (HERE) was introduced and assigned to the public safety committee. It would require police to allow people to call their lawyer, family and friends within ONE HOUR of arrest. Movement has stalled since June and we’ve waited for a hearing to be scheduled. Hundreds of people affected by incommunicado detention in Chicago are ready to testify. Those who have another proposed solution will be heard there as well.

Q: What can you do?

A: We are challenging YOU to help end incommunicado detention and define “reasonable” by:

– donating HERE

– jumping in Lake Michigan with us if your friends, family and colleagues donate at least $500!!! Email Zoraima@First-Defense.org to join the team.

– let your Alderperson know that it’s time to define “reasonable.” 

Q: Is jumping in the icy water really necessary?

A: We are challenging the public safety committee of City Counsel to set a hearing on ordinance O2019-3873. HERE

is a timeline of the many other moves we’ve made to end incommunicado detention so far. We are willing to do what it takes for Chicagoans to have real access to their rights.

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