As the Bollyn children have seen much of the world and witnessed
major political events in their lives, my wife simply consoled our
daughter and allowed her to watch the abuse of police power, saying,
“This is our new America.”
“Go back where you came from,” a police officer, in a most insulting
manner, told my wife, a Swedish citizen.
While I have received several death threats
during my career with AFP and the court-killed Spotlight,
this is the first time I have actually been beaten and abused by
Sitting in the unmarked car, Tasered and handcuffed, I was
enraged as the officer named Fitzgerald indulged in offending me
and my late mother. I was unable to contain my anger hearing him
insult my late mother, one of the founding pioneers of the
Fitzgerald then repeatedly told me that I was going to be
“This guy is going to beat the [expletive] out of you,” he said
when a senior officer approached the car. When I repeated his
words and asked him what he said, Fitzgerald would simply lie,
saying, “I didn’t say that.”
This verbal abuse continued during the drive to the station.
When I would lean forward, the officer would quickly slam on the
brakes so my head hit the plexiglass separation window. After
doing this several times, I held myself back on the seat and
didn’t say another word.
At the station, a host of 10-12 rubber-gloved cops awaited me in
the police garage. As Fitzgerald drove in to the garage, he told
the gang: “He says cops are a bunch of [expletive]. You take
care of him now.”
When I was pulled from the car, I told the police I am a
journalist and that I would write about the arrest.
The verbal abuse then came from all sides. The son of village
pioneers, I was most offended by those who said I should get out
of town, an insult I found to be particularly painful.
In the station, my shirt was quickly ripped off and I was left
in my shorts and an undershirt. Asked why I was being detained,
an officer said I had resisted arrest and threatened the police
with clenched fists—two complete fabrications.
I was subsequently charged with resisting arrest and aggravated
assault, which resulted in six hours of abuse at the hands of
the local police.
I was thrown into a cell without water. When I asked the
undercover police unit why they had been prowling around my
house, they said, “We are watching you.”
Thirsty, I asked for some water and was told, “Drink from the
“Why am I being treated this way?” I wondered.
Later, an officer named Schultz came to tell me that because I
had been shocked with a Taser gun, paramedics had been called to
check me. However, no paramedics came to check me or to look at
my injured elbow.
At midnight, an officer told me that I had to pay $100 to get
out. “What am I being charged with?” I protested. “I called 911
and the police beat me up in my front yard for no reason.”
My brother paid my bail and shortly after midnight I was pushed
out onto the dark streets for the long walk home.
I have good reason to believe that this operation was neither
accidental nor an initiative of the local police. Whether this
is how the Hoffman Estates police treat all arrests or if I
received special treatment as part of an ADL-FBI operation
remains an open question.
Shortly after the arrest, AFP managing editor Christopher J.
Petherick spoke with Lt. Richard Russo, acting press spokesman
for the Hoffman Estates Police Department, on Aug. 16.
Russo faxed American Free Press a copy of the “Media
Information Release Form,” which provided details about my
Russo told Petherick the undercover officers were engaged in
something called “gang suppression” in my neighborhood.
Petherick asked Russo how a resident’s 911 call could have
escalated to the point that police officers threw that unarmed
man to the ground and shot him with a Taser.
Russo told Petherick that the arresting officer had “physically”
stopped me and Tasered me because I had made statements
indicating that I was “going to go inside the house and get a
weapon.” However, this charge is completely false and was most
likely fabricated after the fact in an obvious attempt to
justify the armed agents’ use of extreme force.
When AFP received the press release from the police, the
allegation that I was going into my house to get a weapon had
been dropped and replaced with phrasing that the officers felt I
“may be trying to get a weapon.”
“Keep in mind that Christopher, who has no criminal record, was
the person who called the police in the first place,” Petherick
“There are really two key scenarios at play here,” Petherick
said. “At a minimum, this was a brutal demonstration of the
violent militarization of U.S. law enforcement. At its worst,
this could be a deliberate attempt to intimidate and harass an
American reporter, who has been writing about some of the most
controversial issues in the world today.”
The following day, Chief Clint Herdegen contacted me, but would
only say that he was not prepared to answer any questions. My
day in court is scheduled for Sept. 13.
Readers who would like to contribute to a legal fund for
Christopher Bollyn, can make a tax-deductible donation to The
Christopher Bollyn Legal Fund, care of The Foundation to Defend
the First Amendment, 645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Suite 100,
Washington, D.C. 20003. Please make your check or money order
out to “FDFA.”
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