Well-known Chicago activist Mike Siviwe Elliott was arrested on board a Metra train for exercising his right to observe and video an officer in the course of his or her duties.
Elliott was on the train when he observed officers “getting rough with a young woman.” He recorded it with his phone until one of the Metra Police tried to snatch his phone from him. When Elliott pulled back his hand, he was accused of assaulting the officer and placed under arrest.
Elliott was locked up in the 5th District station of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) overnight, released to a waiting crowd of supporters at 11:00 a.m. According to his jailers, his phone has been turned over to State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, and will only be returned to him when he appears in court on January 13th.
Elliott sees his arrest as more of the same from police in Chicago.
“In a violent backlash to the countless nonviolent protests and demands of Chicago activists for justice and police accountability, the Chicago police have killed two more Black people and critically wounded a third on the same day, December 26. Especially during an ongoing federal investigation of the CPD by the Department of Justice, what does this say to every Black Lives Matter activist in Chicago?”
Elliott is a leader of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.
“The city and the prosecutors were involved in the cover up of the murder of Laquan McDonald. We are calling for an investigation and prosecutions, not only of the CPD, but we also want Mayor Emanuel, the city council, State’s Attorney Alvarez, and the other police forces investigated and prosecuted here.”
“My arrest is further evidence that the police here are not being held accountable on any level. The only way to hold the police accountable is through community control.”
The Alliance is leading a coalition that includes the Chicago Teachers Union, the Black Lives Matter movement, and a diverse array of Black, Latino, Arab, Muslim and Asian groups calling for the passage of legislation to create an elected, civilian police accountability council.