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NATO protester says week in Cook County Jail was ‘awesome’

Danny Lamar JohnsLos Angeles was accused  punching Chicago Police sergeant off his bike during an anti-deportatiprotest Loop.

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.

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Updated: August 23, 2012 9:51AM

A Los Angeles man in town for anti-NATO demonstrations earlier this month has been cleared of attacking a Chicago Police officer. And he spoke highly Tuesday of his week in Cook County Jail.

“It was awesome,” Danny Johnson, 31, said of his incarceration here. “I would not speak badly of my time in Cook County Jail.”

Johnson, a member of Occupy Walk USA, said he cherished his time in jail because it gave him a chance to educate inmates about the Occupy movement.

He spent seven days in jail before his friends were able to post 10 percent of his $10,000 bail. During his week, Johnson said he and another Occupy member, who was arrested on a drug charge, had “teach ins” and sit ins.”

Johnson said he even got a chance to explain the Occupy movement to some sheriff’s officers.

“It sucks because of what I had to go through, but it was also good because it opened a lot of people’s eyes about the Chicago Police officers not having integrity,” Johnson said.

Prosecutors charged Johnson with punching an officer in the chest after he asked Johnson to move off the street while Johnson spoke out during an anti-deportation protest in the Loop on May 15.

But Johnson, who wore a black shirt that read “unf--- the world” inside out during his bond hearing, said he never touched the officer.

“An officer grabbed me as I was going through the crosswalk and told me I was under arrest,” Johnson said.

Cook County Judge Marvin Luckman believed him.

The judge last week dismissed the aggravated battery and obstructing traffic charges, saying there was no “probable cause.”

Johnson, who was in Arizona Tuesday, said Luckman “kind of belittled me, and called me all types of names, but after his tirade, he said he wasn’t going to send me to jail.”

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