Madison Police, Counterinsurgency and Racist Contradictions

Kelsey Nelson’s Bail Was Set At $6,000

We are glad to have been able to pay Mr. Nelson’s bail of $6,000 and get him free. He has not been charged of a crime yet and it is a violation of his constitutional rights for him to be in jail simply because he can’t afford to pay the bail.

The situation in the Dane county jail that has arose over the last week has starkly exposed the racist contradictions of the criminal justice system and the police. While Mr. Nelson, a Black man, had to wait two days from the time he was arrested and had his bail set at $6,000, there was a White man, Brendan O’Neil, who on early Saturday morning, June 20, hit and dragged a Black woman, Alize Carter, while she was exercising her right to protest against racist police violence, and immediately fled from the scene. Brendan O’Neil was clearly exhibiting behavior of a white supremacist wishing to maintain the status quo of this racist society when he choose to violently drive through the crowd of protestors, who were mostly Black folks.

Brendan O’neil was caught and arrested the following Thursday and charged with hit and run with intention of death and/or causing great bodily harm. Then a telling thing occurred that has exposed the underlying objectives of the racist criminal injustice and policing system in Dane County, Brendan O’neil was charged on a misdemeanor crime schedule, despite his crime clearly deserving multiple felonies and probably a hate crime investigation and prosecution. This allowed him to have bail set for his release without having to attend initial appearance court, a process which requires the person being charged to wait at least a day in jail before being able to appear in court, often times a few days. On top of that, his bail was set at $350 for an act that many would agree amounts to an act of deadly white supremacist terrorism. Mr Nelson was charged with destruction of property and burglary, two alleged crimes that are targeted at inanimate objects, the allegations against him don’t involve him allegedly having hurt anyone. Brendan O’Neil intentionally drove through a crowd of mostly Black protestors and hit a Black woman with his truck, dragging her with it, resulting in her having to go to the hospital with myriad bodily injuries and broken bones, yet Brendan O’Neil was released within a couple hours of being booked and had to pay 1/17th of the bail that Mr Nelson had to pay.

This is clear signaling from the police, the court and the Sherriff’s department that they value private property more than they do Black Lives. It also indicates a circling of the wagon from the racist incarceration and policing systems in Dane county around Whiteness’ right to perform violence on Black people. In addition it signals that the government will fight tooth and nail to resist any changes to its racist and violent modes of operating and the antiBlack status quo. These events are extremely revealing and point to the need for increased grassroots resistance to the racist policing and incarceration system in Dane County and across the country. Let’s not let the system of white supremacist patriarchal capitalism get away with this bullshit racist maneuvering. Let’s show white supremacy and its status quo system that we will RISE UP and dismantle it by any means necessary in order to rid our society of these racist contradictions and anti-Blackness.

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