Tinley Park Five Get (Some) Jail—But Where Is DOJ’s Eric (“My People”) Holder?

When a gang of some eighteen self-styled anarchists, part of the Anti-Racist Action leftist militant network, launched an unprovoked assault with deadly weapons on alleged members of Stormfront, a white supremacist/neo-Nazi/whatever group and wreaked havoc in a Tinley Park IL restaurant last May 19, VDARE.com’s James Fulford pointed out that the controversial British historian David Irving had twice had meetings similarly attacked in the Chicagoland area—but the perpetrators has been let off with slaps on the wrist. With the result that it was happening again. [Tinley Park Attack: Anarcho-Tyranny In America].


Fulford contrasted this with the practice of “exemplary sentencing”—for example, the British Establishment has long congratulated itself that the long jail terms imposed on whites involved in the 1958 Notting Hill Riots crushed working class resistance to Third World immigration. (Similarly, I’ve reported that in the U.S. the Federal government has been savagely attacking blue collar symbolic speech about white dispossession a.k.a. “hate”).


Now, for the first time to my knowledge—and apparently greatly to their own and their lawyers’ surprise—five of the Leftist terrorists have been sentenced to jail:


  • Jason Sutherlin, 33, was sentenced to six years in prison (he had a previous felony conviction).
  • His brothers Cody, 24, and Dylan, 20, were each sentenced to five years.
  • John Tucker, 26, and Alex Stuck, 22, were each sentenced to three-and-a-half years.

All pleaded guilty on January 4 to three counts of Armed Violence in Cook County Circuit Court. All had been charged with 37 felonies, all but one for crimes of violence (multiple counts each of “armed violence, aggravated battery using a deadly weapon causing grave bodily harm, mob action,” etc.), as well as one felony count of “knowingly destroying property in value of $10,000-200,000.”


The five—all white—were part of an Indiana group calling itself the “Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement” (“HARM”). They were caught when a Tinley Park police officer saw that their vehicle matched the radioed description of one that had just fled the scene of the crime. According to a press release from the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez:



…officers observed hooded black sweatshirts, scarves and ASPs in plain view in the car.


A GPS device was later recovered from that car and it showed that the defendants’ car was at the scene of the crime during the time period of the attack.


[Five defendants plead guilty in Ashford House incident, January 04, 2013. VDARE.com links]


Contending that the stop of the vehicle was illegal, attorneys for the terrorists had sought to have all evidence from, and statements made at the time of the stop suppressed. [See "Guilty As Hell, Free As A Bird"—Ayers, Obama, And The Exclusionary Rule]


The suppression hearing was due to take place Friday morning in the courtroom of Associate Justice Carmen K. Aguilar.


However, according to attorney Brian Barrido, counsel for Dylan Sutherlin, the defendants all went against the advice of counsel, in deciding to give up their fight to suppress the evidence and statements, “put it behind them,” and accept a plea bargain that Judge Aguilar had crafted in cooperation with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.


A previous plea bargain offered by the State’s Attorney’s Office would have had the defendants serve seven years in state prison, less the seven-and-a-half months they had all spent behind bars since their May 19 attack. (NS: Why was this modified?)


Initially, the Tinley Park defendants went judge-shopping, demanding and getting the first judge removed from the case. That move boomeranged, however, when replacement Aguilar set bond at an average of $195,000 per defendant—a sum their comrades apparently could not help them raise.


Arguments by the terrorists’ attorneys for reducing their bond to nothing sounded surreal and more than a little arrogant, suggesting that the terrorists were the real victims, and that this whole court business was a terrible inconvenience to them.


Defendants were variously "working to promote social justice and equality" (i.e., a Marxist), had “ties to the community,” needed to take care of a 20-month old toddler, and their disabled father, have friends they can stay with in Cook County (anarchist accomplices?), and that that felony burglary conviction was ancient history.


And, besides, not only had the people in the restaurant been hardly hurt, but the defendants had been headed to a non-violent demonstration when the bad guys in the restaurant attacked them! They were just defending themselves!! [Judge: $975,000 Bail for Ashford House 5 is “Proper” by Carrie FrillmanOrland Park Patch, July 13, 2012.]


In fact, every anarchist demonstration I have heard of in recent years was a premeditated riot.


Holding the self-styled “Tinley Park Five” in jail was probably key to their decision to accept the plea bargain. Their supporters are gloating that two may be released before Christmas 2013 and all by Christmas 2014. (Tinley Park Five Accept Non-Cooperating Plea Bargain, by Tinley Park Five and Support Crew, TinleyParkFive.wordpress.com.)  In contrast, a trial might not have even have begun before six to twelve months (!) And, despite their lawyers’ chest-thumping, there was always the possibility that the “Five” might be found guilty.


At least two of the six defense attorneys who worked on the case were engaged through the National Lawyers Guild, a generations-old Communist front. Some of them made statements that were, at best, irrelevant to defending their clients and, at worst, implied that their clients were guilty as heck:



Stuart Smith ... said he accepted Tucker’s case for free because he sympathizes with Anti-Racist Action (ARA), a network of militant left-wing groups which took credit for the Ashford House attack.


Private Attorneys for “Tinley Park 5” Express Sympathy for Anti-Racist Cause, by Jesse Marx, TinleyParkPatch.com, June 13, 2012. Link in original]


That Smith’s client, John Tucker, like the other four defendants, was a part of ARA, and ARA had claimed to have committed the attack, means that Smith is acknowledging Tucker was guilty of the crime.


Attorney Sara Garber seemed to argue that if someone considers another person a “Nazi” or “white supremacist,” then it is legally permissible, and even laudatory, for the first person to beat the second to death, if he so wishes. A number of the attorneys seemed to feel this way, and to define anyone who is pro-white, in such terms:



“Obviously, violence is not an answer, but white supremacists are extremely hateful, violent people. Here we are, the state is prosecuting these five kids. Why aren’t they looking after the white supremacists?” Garber said.


[Men plead guilty in suburban restaurant attack, sentenced to at least 3 years, by Steve Metsch, Sun-Times Media, January 4, 2013.]


Maybe because the “five kids” are the “extremely hateful, violent people” And because the “white supremacists” had committed no crime (beyond existing)?


According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the pro-white group had booked the luncheon under the name of the “Illinois European Heritage Association.” Earlier reports had said the group had called itself an Irish heritage group.


Significantly, two of the victims were also arrested on May 19: Francis John Gilroy Jr., 65, of Florida, who was charged with unlawful possession of weapons by a felon; and Steven E. Speers, 33, of Grand Forks, ND, who was arrested on a “warrant out of Dallas County, Texas, for possession of child pornography.


Gilroy’s public defender attorney has sought to get his arrest thrown out, but it was not clear, at press time, what the disposition of that case was. [Attorney: Throw Out Arrest of Victim Nabbed on Weapons Charge During Ashford House Brawl by Bridgette Outten, Orland Park Patch, October 30, 2012.]


Nor is it clear why Tinley Park police searched the victims. My take: it is common for authorities to treat crime victims with unpopular views, or who are members of unprotected groups, as criminals. And considering some things that the defense attorneys later said—e.g., the false statement that the victims were all convicted felons—it may have been a strategy to cast the victims as criminals.  


The organizer of the luncheon, Brandon Spiller, 29, had to have a head wound stapled, and also suffered a serious injury to one eye. He has been quoted as saying "We're not white supremacists … we're not skinheads…We're just setting up a European Heritage Group.” [“We're Not Skinheads,” Says Man Hurt in Ashford House Beating, by Carrie Frillman, TinleyParkPatch.com, and May 23, 2012.]


The attackers initially assaulted members of Spiller’s group. But then they expanded their riot to at least three patrons having no connection to the pro-white group, whose wounds required hospital treatment, to Ashford House owner Mike Winston, and to general destruction of property. Their goal was clearly to terrorize everyone in, or connected to the restaurant. Ashford House lost all business that day while it was closed, and much of its business the next day, due to cancellations by customers who had heard about the violence.


A sign of the times: owner Winston subsequently felt obliged to condemn equally both the terrorists and their initially targeted victims—even though only the Leftist terrorists had committed violence—including a gang beating of Winston himself, whom they attacked from behind.


Dylan Sutherlin’s defense attorney, Brian Barrido, who was kind enough to return my call and graciously consented to a lengthy interview, told me that the targeted victims were “unsympathetic,” may have been engaged in violence, and that his client was on his way to a “non-violent” demonstration at the restaurant.


However, Barrido did not seem to think it is a crime to batter someone he considers a “Nazi” or that people he considers “Nazis” have civil rights, though he did acknowledge that the other people assaulted were legitimate victims. (See here for the interview transcript.)


It is would be nice to think that Cook County officials are, indeed, stepping up to the plate and imposing exemplary sentences on the Leftist thugs who have been intrinsic to America’s emerging anarcho-tyranny.


But it should be noted that their attorneys think otherwise:



The defense attorneys have long questioned the motives of the state's attorney's office intent on prosecuting just the five, when as many as 18 people entered the Ashford House Restaurant the day of the brawl.


"If they are so concerned with justice, why aren't they going after the other 13 people?" Barrido asked.


And both Garber and Barrido agreed that if a non-neo Nazi hadn't been injured in the attack, a plea agreement could have gone differently…


No legal protection for “neo-Nazis”! And there are suggestions of an unedifying personal motive:



Stuart Smith, attorney for John Tucker, said in previous interviews that orders to prosecute the five so harshly were "coming from higher up." Smith didn't elaborate further, but one of the victims injured in the attack who wasn't part of the neo Nazi group is reportedly the brother of a longstanding Cook County official.


[Ashford House 5 Plead Guilty, Sentenced to Prison, by Bridgette Outten, TinleyParkPatch.com, January 4, 2013].


And at least two questions remain:


  • Why aren’t Cook County law enforcement officials going after the other perpetrators?

I left a message for Detective Sam Dajani, asking him if the Tinley Park PD was pursuing the 13 attackers who were still at large. He had not replied at press time.


I talked to Cook County State’s Attorney spokesman Andy Conklin:



N.S.: Why did you give them such favorable terms, for such heinous crimes?


Andy Conklin: You know, I’m going to decline to comment on that.


N.S.: Did your office bring any pressure to bear on them to try to get them to give up their accomplices?


Andy Conklin: I’m going to decline to comment on that, as well.”


In contrast, the Tinley Park Five’s supporters are openly boasting that the Five knew their fellow perps and that attempts to force them to co-operate were contemptibly feeble:



Before the plea was accepted, the State offered the Tinley Park Five one last chance to betray their comrades in exchange for their freedom. What a waste of time! As anarchist and antifascists, the Tinley Park Five are no more capable of selling out the struggle than their broken system is capable of reforming itself! They laughed at the offer and bravely accepted their fate.


TINLEY PARK FIVE ACCEPT NON-COOPERATING PLEA BARGAIN, Anti-Racist Action, January 5 2013. This is cross-posted from TinleyParkFive and also appears on other Leftist sites—they really do hold property in common!)


  • Why no Federal “Civil Rights” charges?

The “Tinley Park 5” were from Indiana and crossed the state line to commit a crime. This is a federal offense.


On Friday afternoon, I called the press office of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, leaving a message for a press officer named Dena, who was “not at her desk,” asking what the Division’s position is on a group violently violating the civil rights of another group in general, and particularly regarding a group crossing state lines to do so. I purposely did not mention any specific case.


At press time, Dena had not responded.


Asking such questions of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division may seem rhetorical or even stupid. The CRD has a long history of highly selective civil rights enforcement by officials who do not believe that whites have civil rights. Under openly racist Obama Attorney General Eric (“my people”) Holder, the CRD’s traditional racism has metastasized.


When this writer contacted the CRD’s press office in early 2010, following the success of a similar group of “anti-racist” terrorists’ at  shutting down an American Renaissance conference through death threats against hotel workers, I spoke with a CRD press officer who said he’d get back to me…but never did.


I got the impression that the press officer liked to cooperate only with people he considered political allies. (Nor did local police investigate the attack on AmRen).


In contrast, for example, in 1997 Brian Swetnam, then 22, was prosecuted in federal court and sentenced to ten years in prison without parole merely for burning a cross in Bowie, MD. The ludicrous theory:



“The case was federally prosecuted because it involved a threat of force and occurred at a public school. Students have a right under federal law to attend school regardless of their race, prosecutors said.”


[Brothers Plead Guilty for Role in 1997 Bowie High School Cross Burning, by Shantee Woodards, Capital News Service, December 2, 1999.]


Footnote: American Renaissance’s next conference has just been announced. It has retreated from the DC area to a federally-protected facility in the heartland, as it did last year.


Just maybe, if the DC-area authorities emulate Cook County, American Renaissance—and, in fact, America— might be able to return to the capital city of the land of the free and the home of the brave.


Nicholas Stix [email him] is a New York City-based journalist and researcher, much of whose work focuses on the nexus of race, crime, and education. He spent much of the 1990s teaching college in New York and New Jersey. His work has appeared in Chronicles, The New York Post, Weekly Standard, Daily News, New York Newsday, American Renaissance, Academic Questions, Ideas on Liberty and many other publications. Stix was the project director and principal author of the NPI report, The State of White America-2007. He blogs at Nicholas Stix, Uncensored.