UPDATE 3/15-- Our comrade Tyrone is OUT OF JAIL! Yesterday morning, Judge Gaughan set bail at $30,000 and thanks to your support, we posted bail. He was released last night in high spirits and thanks everyone for standing with him.
We are still raising funds for his legal defense fund. Please donate if you can!
Tyrone Williams is a dedicated leader of the Alliance who has helped to build the 4th and 5th ward committees in Hyde Park. He was arrested today at the Cook County Court House for simply reacting to a court case. Judge Vaughn decided that one word under someone’s breath was an obstruction. He is currently being held with no bond. It is not clear with what he has been charged or when his case will be heard. We are raising funds to cover Tyrone’s bail and legal defense. Please donate what you can! More information about the case can be found below:
Today Judge Vincent M. Gaughan expressed open contempt for Black people and for the Constitution. He charged and arrested and sentenced on the spot Alliance activist Tyrone Williams, a leading campaigner for CPAC (an ell-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council) for saying, in court, “What?”
Frank Chapman observed, “The Judge charged Tyrone with contempt and obstruction but it is Judge Gaughan who is in contempt of the people of this state by allowing the Jason Van Dyke case to drag on for two years, and today by further allowing nine people to potentially testify about Laquan McDonald's ‘violent and aggressive nature’ thus letting Van Dyke's defense attorneys put Laquan McDonald, the murder victim, on trial.”
It started with Mr. Hall, appearing in Judge Gaughan’s court in response to a summons, wasn’t allowed to check-in for his appearance. A bailiff, a Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy, told him he had to sit down and couldn’t check in. The court had been hearing issues related to the impending trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke for the cold-blooded murder of Laquan McDonald.
Hall sat down. After an hour, and during a recess in the Van Dyke proceeding, an apparently frustrated Mr. Hall stood up at his place in the spectator section to try to understand what was happening. Other cases were being called and Cook County Jail prisoners in brown jail jumpsuits were in and out before Judge Gaughan. The bailiff told Hall to sit down, and he did so, making an audible “Humph”. The bailiff took offense at his attitude and ordered him to leave the courtroom.
A while later, Hall’s case was called. The bailiff told Judge Gaughan he had been put out. Another bailiff was told to “go get him.” He came back to court, clearly confused as to why he had been called back and went to take a seat. He was told by the bailiffs to approach the bench, without explanation. He approached the bench.
Judge Gaughan chastised him for being out of court when his case was called. Hall Raised his hand, asking to speak. “Put your hand down,” Gaughan ordered. He did. He raised his hand again. Judge ordered the bailiff to arrest him and place him in custody for contempt of court.
The dozen Alliance members in the room were in shock- Tyrone Woods let out a “what” under his breath. “Who said that?” demanded Judge Gaughan. “I did,” replied Williams, standing up. “Approach the bench,” demanded Gaughan, and a bailiff went and escorted Tyrone Williams before the bench. “Mr. Williams you have shown contempt for this court. Bailiff, arrest this man.”
Tyrone is a leader in Hyde Park who has a heart of gold. He was targeted for simply reacting to the mistreatment of another person in court. Historically, Judge Gaughan has always targeted activist in the court room.