Seattle: Protester Finally Released After Being Unjustly Jailed for Three Weeks

December 26, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

It is very important as we build this movement to end police brutality that we love, respect, and support each other in our common fight to end police brutality and murder. As people in Seattle protest the outrageous verdicts letting the police who murdered Mike Brown and Eric Garner go free, police have specifically targeted those prominent in speaking out. One of these was Andrea Lister, who was held in jail for almost three weeks without a trial on $25,000 bail on an alleged misdemeanor!

Andrea is a past victim of police brutality—she was beaten by police while in custody and handcuffed. On the announcement that the cop who lynched Eric Garner would not be charged with any crime, she came to the December 3 emergency protest called by the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality-Seattle. She was very vocal in denouncing the police for their murders and brutality. At one point, she spoke very powerfully when handed a bullhorn. Later, after this protest dispersed, Andrea was suddenly surrounded by police and snatched from the sidewalk when alone. They said she did something wrong earlier in the march.

Andrea found herself in a courtroom for an initial hearing without a lawyer. She voiced strong resistance there against her treatment by the police. The court came down HARD on her, assigning a $25,000 bail for an alleged misdemeanor crime of shoving a cop! Bail for a normal misdemeanor is usually $500, and $1,000 for a gross misdemeanor! Because of this outrageous bail, Andrea could not get free. This caused her to be at risk of losing her housing. The threat of this kind of situation is a key thing used by the powers against people to create fear of protesting and to suppress dissent. 

Andrea’s next court hearing was not scheduled until after she had been in jail almost three weeks. The October 22nd Coalition sent out a call for people to pack the courtroom in support and to witness this injustice. Revolutionaries, activists, and others answered the call. When Andrea was brought in, several supporters stood up, and others followed and remained standing during her hearing. This showed the court that there were witnesses to what was happening. The lawyer had done good work, and ran down many points on why this huge bail was vindictive and cruel. He also said the non-cop witnesses he interviewed say no "assault" happened.

The judge dropped the $25,000 bail and released Andrea on personal recognizance. Andrea was overjoyed, and people cheered. The charges themselves (misdemeanor assault on a police officer) have not been dropped, and people are following developments there and fighting this injustice.


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