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‘Black Bloc’ profile: Brian Church allegedly asked ever see a “cop on fire”?

Brian Church 20 Ft. Lauderdale Fla. (AP Photo/Chicago Police Department)

Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Chicago Police Department)

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Updated: July 1, 2012 12:29PM



Brian Church was allegedly at a “safe house” in Bridgeport on Wednesday, helping make Molotov cocktails — filling empty beer bottles with gasoline and cutting bandanas to serve as wicks.

“While the Molotov cocktails were being poured, Church discussed the NATO Summit, the protests and how the Molotov cocktails would be used for violence and intimidating acts of destruction,” prosecutors charged Saturday in court documents.

Church, 22, of Fort Lauderdale, had a question for his accomplices, prosecutors said.

Had they ever seen a “cop on fire?” he allegedly asked, suggesting they toss one of the homemade firebombs into the Deering District police station at 3120 S. Halsted in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

Prosecutors cast Church as the ringleader of a trio of “domestic terrorists” bent on putting a violent stamp on the NATO Summit. He allegedly said he wanted to recruit 16 people — split into four cells — to conduct the attacks.

Church is charged with possession of an explosive or incendiary device, conspiracy to commit terrorism and providing material support to terrorism.

But Church’s mother said she’s sure her son is innocent.

“These are totally trumped up charges,” she said. “I think it’s retaliatory of the police.”

She said her son texted her about Chicago Police officers stopping a car he was in before the bust.

Lawyers for the defendants have posted the video on the Web.

“Have you seen it?” she said. “They threaten every one of them.”

Church’s mom said he went to college and trained as an emergency medical technician. Now he’s studying to become a paramedic, she said.

“He loves to stand up for what’s right, no matter what anybody else says,” his mother said.

Sarah Gelsomino, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild, said Church and the other two defendants knew each other through the Occupy movement.

Florida court records show Church was charged in 2010 with burglarizing his parents’ home and taking a TV, drum kit, two guitars and a paintball gun. The charges were dropped, records show.



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