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Impending Police State in Central Illinois.

Champaign-Urbana sits in the middle of a cornfield but it is not exactly a quiet country town. It is the home of the Internet (arguably) and it is not immune to the fist of fascism sweeping our nation.

*Three Cops Versus An Entire Community*
By Brian Dolinar

Nearly a year ago, on March 30, 2007, when a 17 year-old black youth was stopped in Douglass Park, pepper sprayed, and sent to the hospital by Champaign police, it put the issue of police brutality in the spotlight just two weeks before an election for several seats on the Champaign City Council. The incident occurred down the street from the home of Gina Jackson, the only African American on City Council member and representative from the Douglass Park district, who was holding a Democratic Party social that fateful Friday night. She as well as City Council member Michael LaDue
saw the aftermath of the event.

The incident was quickly swept under the rug by the local media, assisted by the comments of Jackson herself who at the City Council meeting following the incident stated, "racial profiling exists. It always has and it always will." During the election on April 15, Latino Councilman Giraldo Rosales, who had been pushing for a police review board in Champaign, was voted out and the City Council shifted to the right. Three months later, the Champaign City Council voted down any future discussion about a police review board, against the recommendations of their own Human Relations Commission.

The trial of Brian Chesley, the 17 year-old charged with two misdemeanors for resisting and obstructing a peace officer, began on March 25, 2008 and ended four days later with a guilty verdict on both counts.

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impending police state

Those who worry about the impending police state in the wake of the Patriot Act and "total information awareness," should be more concerned about its arrival in black neighborhoods. Already given orders to stop, identify, and enter into a database anybody on the street, police now have a carte blanche to interrogate us all.