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CPD Stole "Real World" Protesters' Keys!

Chicago Police confiscate, refuse to admit to possessing arrestees' house keys. Sgt. Crawford of the 14th District caught in a lie.
At first I thought it was just me, absentmindedly neglecting to pick up my set of keys to include in my personal possession pouch before being marched off to Lock-up. Yes, I was one of the 17 arrested during the protest across the street from the Real World house, 1934 West North Avenue. There were, at my count, 11 males and 6 females total (including a person under the age of 18) brought in for booking at the 14th District police station. At first I thought I had forgotten my keys at the police station, or so I was convinced by Sergeant Crawford. I found out today that none of us got our keys back.

Just after being released, it took me a moment to realize that I didn't have my keys. I was too busy savoring my freedom. I walked to the front desk of the 14th District where a female officer told us to come back as our arresting officers were off shift and they couldn't help us. So my girlfriend and I returned after 5 pm to inquire about my missing keys. In characteristic CPD helpfulness, they dragged their clay feet. I waited for close to one hour when Sgt. Crawford finally decided to speak to me regarding the lost keys. It was he who insisted that we were to collect them to place among our personal possessions and that I merely forgot to do so. Knowing how forgetful I can be, this sounded reasonable. I then formulated the theory that someone was watching my back and placed them in their own protective custody. During this time, Sgt. Crawford asked me about our motives and took the opportunity to pontificate and threaten me as a proxy of the entire crowd, saying that they will do the same as they did last Friday night -- arrest Real World opponents en masse if they dared to protest in front of their loft. He also lied through his donut-hole about my keys. He did allow me to take home my drum.

I find out today that not one person in our group was allowed to reclaim his keys (I cannot speak for the women arrestees, who were shipped to womens' lock-up at 5555 West Grand). Pray tell, what do they want with our personal house/car/bike keys? To break into our homes? To punish us before we even went to trial? Merely to further harrass and inconvenience us? The Chicago Police have stolen our keys, and we want them back. They are not weapons. They are not evidence to be used against us. They are not contraband. They are the keys to our homes, our cars, our bikes, our parents' homes, the places where we work. They would be hard-pressed to determine whose keys belong to whom, as they were not marked as such.

I contacted my cousin, a lawyer, who voiced his doubts about what recourse I might have. The cops can say that they don't have our keys and that is where it would end, according to him. He pledged to help find out what he could regarding our keys' whereabouts. I can safely assume that many of us lost more than our keys, but that is what we all had in common: they took our keys. It was not just me. It was all of us. And, surprise surprise, they lied. But why our keys?

[More on this at a later time, when I get some answers...]



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