Occupy Denver's Amelia Nicol, Jonathan Shepard among 4 busted in raid on squat
Update, 1 p.m. October 24: We now know the names of the four Occupy Denver participants arrested in a Denver Police Department raid on a squat over the weekend, and two of them were recently featured in this space: Amelia Nicol, who saw murder charges against her dropped earlier this year, and Jonathan Shepard, one of our recent Occupy Denver profile subjects.
"I was seeing so many people who weren't willing to get arrested," Shepard said last week, speaking about being busted in the original police raid on Occupy Denver's tent city. "I wanted to show them that even if you have something to lose, isn't this worth losing it for?"
Photo by Kelsey Whipple
Shepard, Victor Jaime and Sam Carlson were charged with 2nd degree burglary this morning, a felony charge that came with bond rates of $3,500 for the first two and $5,000 for Shepard. Shepard's bail is largest because his aforementioned arrest two weeks ago -- and he has a failure to appear notice on his previous record.
Nicol, yesterday's fourth arrestee, is out of hospitalized police custody, but her arraignment is not yet scheduled. Here's an excerpt from Josiah M. Hesse's post about her last week:
Earlier this year, Nicol spent six weeks behind bars and celebrated her 21st birthday in solitary confinement, charged with the attempted murder of two police officers during the May March Against Terror. She was looking at a prison sentence of up to 120 years. But after a "Free Amelia" campaign waged by friends at Anarchist Black Cross, Judge Andrew J. Armatas threw out the felony charges in June, leaving only a charge of possession of an incendiary device -- allegedly a firecracker.
Get more details in the Westword feature "An anarchist charged with attempted murder sees her case blow up in court."
The combined bail for the four felony arrests greatly outweighs those of the majority of the misdemeanor charges associated with Occupy Denver's fifty demonstration-related arrests, and the Denver Anarchist Black Cross is soliciting donations and help from other organizations in order to collect the total.
Original item, 8:27 a.m. October 24: In the wake of a Saturday protest that remained consistently peaceful, a series of busts took place the next day under a different set of circumstances.
When police raided a squat at Bryant and West 27th yesterday, four people were arrested, and three are currently facing charges of second degree burglary, a class 3 felony. The fourth arrestee is still in the hospital.
As of right now, the bonds of the three taken into custody has been set at $10,000, which further taxes the legal budget of the Denver Anarchist Black Cross. In addition to providing the legal support for Occupy Denver's fifty arrests during the previous weekend, the group is again taking responsibility for the legal process of the four arrested yesterday.
Although the fourth arrestee's charges currently remain unknown, it is likely she will receive the same charge. However, she will not be present at the group's 10 a.m. charges hearing because she was removed from the scene by ambulance.
The police altercation came less than 24 hours after a march against police brutality traveled from the Denver Zoo through downtown in solidarity with the "international day of action against police terror" Saturday. The local focus was Alonzo Ashley, whose death at the Denver Zoo this summer was ruled a homicide -- but Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey decided against filing charges.
The march, also supported by the Denver Anarchist Black Cross, lasted several hours and temporarily shut down major streets as it wound through downtown and circled Saturday's Occupy Denver protest. One person is reported to have been arrested during the march as well for defacing public property.
The march left stickers and other forms of graffiti, plus the occasional broken window, in its wake before disbanding later into the night.
Although the names of the Occupy Denver volunteers arrested have yet to be released, an emergency rally has been planned for tonight at 5 p.m. in front of the downtown detention center at Colfax and Elati. At least eight of the original Occupy Denver arrestees face hearings this morning, in addition to three of the four arrested during yesterday's raid, and many Occupy Denver protesters plan to attend the rally in support of their fellow volunteers.
As relationships between the DABC and certain factions of Occupy Denver protesters have grown increasingly rocky lately, this most recent situation has fueled a new Twitter war between the camps, one side of which has publicly aired grievances against the group's legal support team and staunch supporter.
As winter weather moves in, it will become increasingly important for occupiers to find ways to handle the cold, which might have sparked the squat situation. In the meantime, a warm house has been established at 11th and Pearl, and the group is asking for cold-weather donations.
More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver's all-day concert closes out a week of peace."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.