Ja’Mal Green, William Calloway fined, ordered to stay away from federal courthouse after Van Dyke protest

Community activist Ja’Mal Green was one of nine protesters arrested last week inside the Dirksen Federal Building.

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Ja’ Mal Green on Tuesday was ordered to pay a $200 fine and to stay away from the Dirksen Federal Building for the next 60 days for his arrest there during a protest last week.

Ja’ Mal Green on Tuesday was ordered to pay a $200 fine and to stay away from the Dirksen Federal Building for the next 60 days for his arrest there during a protest last week.

AP file

Several community activists, including Ja’Mal Green and William Calloway, were ordered Tuesday to stay away from the downtown federal courthouse for 60 days and to pay a $200 fine for their part in a protest demanding federal charges against former Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke.

The arrested protesters, who are calling themselves the “Laquan Nine,” were at the federal courthouse to deliver a letter to U.S. Attorney John Lausch demanding he file federal charges against the disgraced officer, who was released from prison last week after serving a little more than three years for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

The activists’ attorney, William Hardwicke, argued in U.S. District Court on Tuesday that the arrest of his clients was punishment enough. Hardwicke also pointed out that the protest was nonviolent and “in the best tradition of civil disobedience.”

U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer disagreed, saying it was clear that Green and his fellow protesters wanted to be arrested. The protesters were also asked repeatedly to leave the building but refused, she said.

“It would have been a simple thing to do that,” Pallmeyer said.

Pallmeyer repeatedly told the organizers that they weren’t being punished for the content of their speech or for delivering a letter to Lausch’s office — which they successfully did. Instead, they were being penalized for ignoring — for more than an hour — a U.S. Marshals’ order to leave the courthouse lobby.

Pallmeyer said the activists must stay away from the courthouse for the next 60 days unless there on official business.

Green did not speak at his hearing, other than to say he appreciated Pallmeyer’s time. He later tweeted: “This morning a federal judge fined me $200 and banned me from the courthouse for 60 days for protesting for federal charges against Jason Van Dyke. This is our Injustice system! #JusticeForLaquanMcdonald.”

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