Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Los Angeles man in town for anti-NATO demonstrations earlier this month has been cleared of attacking a Chicago Police officer.

Danny Johnson said he never punched a sergeant off his bike as he vociferously spoke out during an anti-deportation protest in the Loop on May 15.

Cook County Judge Marvin Luckman believed him.

Last week, Luckman dismissed aggravated battery and obstructing traffic charges against Johnson, 31, saying there was no “probable cause.”

On Tuesday, Johnson was in Arizona, but said in a phone interview that judge also “kind of belittled me, and called me all types of names, but after his tirade, he said he wasn’t going to send me to jail.”

Johnson, who is a member of Occupy Walk USA, said he cherished his time in Cook County Jail because it gave him a chance to educate inmates about the Occupy movement.

“It was awesome,” he said of his brief incarceration here.

Johnson spent seven days in the Cook County Jail before his friends were able to post 10 percent of his $10,000 bail. During that week, Johnson said he and another Occupy member, who was arrested on a drug charge, had “teach ins” and sit ins.”

Johnson said even got a chance to explain the Occupy movement to some sheriff’s officers, the Ryman college graduate said.

“It sucks because of what I had to go through, but it was also good because it opened a lot of people’s eyes about the Chicago Police officers not having integrity,” Johnson said.

“I would not speak badly of my time in Cook County Jail.”

Prosecutors said Johnson punched an officer in the chest after he asked Johnson to move off the street.

But Johnson, who wore a black shirt that read “unf--- the world” inside out during his bond hearing, said he never touched the officer.

“An officer grabbed me as I was going through the crosswalk and told me I was under arrest,” Johnson said.

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