L.A. man charged with felony after allegedly striking cop in NATO protest
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org May 16, 2012 1:24PM
Danny Lamar Johnson, of Los Angeles, was accused of punching a Chicago Police sergeant off his bike during an anti-deportation protest in the Loop.
Updated: May 16, 2012 7:45PM
A Los Angeles man was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bail Wednesday for allegedly punching a Chicago Police sergeant off his bike during an anti-deportation protest in the Loop.
Danny Lamar Johnson was jumping up, going in and out of traffic and yelling obscenities during the End Immigration Detention rally late Tuesday afternoon in the 300 block of West Jackson, assistant Cook County state’s attorney Lorraine Scaduto said.
When the officer asked him to move off the street, Johnson, 31, punched him in the chest, causing the officer to fall off his bicycle, Scaduto said.
The officer feared for the safety of the motorists, and asked Johnson to “cease his actions several times,” according to a police report.
When the sergeant extended his arm to escort Johnson toward safety, he became combative and struck the officer in the chest and arm, the report said.
The police report did not include any mention of the officer falling off his bicycle or suffering any injuries.
The corn-rowed, goateed Johnson, who wore a black shirt that read “unf--- the world” inside out in court Wednesday, softly told Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil he understood the aggravated battery to an officer and obstructing traffic charges filed against him.
Five of Johnson’s fellow demonstrators came to court to show support for their friend — which police said was one of two arrests for attacking a police officer in the run up so far to the NATO Summit. Johnson was the only NATO-related protester charged with a felony.
The men who came from Dallas, New York and San Diego for the NATO weekend denied Johnson punched the officer.
“He never pushed anyone off the bike. He’s a non-violent person,” said Chris McKay, who is with Occupy Walk USA.
“The cop grabbed him by the collar and when he turned to see who he was, his arm brushed against the officer.”
Although he has the means to post bond, Johnson originally told friends he might choose to stay in jail in order to educate the incarcerated about the Occupy movement. However, later Wednesday, friends said he was preparing to post bond in hopes of being released on Thursday.
The Ryman college graduate is currently on probation for remaining on the scene of a riot in February, Scaduto said.
He also has a misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance conviction and served two years in prison for a 2010 narcotics conviction in California, Scaduto said.