Defendants Acquitted In Ickes Trespass Case Elevates Tamara Holder’s Fight For Public Housing Residents

CHICAGO, IL – February, 2008 Tamara N. Holder, Esq., who has been leading the fight for the Harold Ickes Homes residents, recently won two cases of trespass on the Ickes property by way of acquittal. The State of Illinois failed to meet its burden that Ickes residents could not have visitors on the property and such visitors would be arrested for trespass by Chicago Police.

Each defendant, Larry Smith and LaCharles Washington, was charged with two counts of trespass: Trespass to State Supported Land and Trespass to Real Property. Attorney Holder subpoenaed the Chicago Housing Authority and the Woodlawn Organization (the Ickes’ property manager) for alleged rules and regulations that residents could not have visitors.

LaCharles Washington was visiting his infant child prior to going to school at 10 am, when he was arrested outside the steps of an Ickes building and detained for ten days. He was later told by an assistant public defender to plead guilty if he wanted go home since he could not afford to post bond. Attorney Holder was in court that day and convinced Mr. Washington to withdraw his plea of guilty and fight for his innocence.

These victories also settle a previous belief of Judicial Subcircuit No. 9 Judge Marvin P. Luckman, who, in open court, previously told defendant Larry Smith, “Unless you are on the lease, you can’t be on the Ickes property.” Mr. Smith is also the father of an infant child who resides on the property; he was arrested with the child’s mother, Marie Battle, last July. Attorney Holder tried Ms. Battle’s case last October, which resulted in a not guilty verdict by Judge Luckman.

The acquittals now set a precedent for the many pending and potential future trespass cases against relatives and friends of Ickes residents. The victories also provide more fuel to the class action lawsuit filed by Attorney Holder on behalf of Harold Ickes Home residents against the City of Chicago Police Department in October of 2007. Attorney Holder has received hundreds of complaints regarding abuse of police power, including but not limited to trespass.

Attorney Holder, who represented the men pro bono, commented, “the most important thing to me is that public housing residents realize that they do not have lesser rights just because the live in public housing.” She continued, “These victories prove that if you fight for what is right, you will prevail. Many of these arrests and prosecutions are flat-out wrong and a waste of the taxpayer’s money.”

About Tamara N. Holder:
Tamara N. Holder, Esq., [] is one of Chicago’s rising legal analytical stars. She gained national attention for fighting for the rights of railroad workers who were fired in the name of “homeland security” which led to a Congressional hearing.  Her law firm specializes in criminal defense, expungements, Governor’s pardons, police brutality and personal injury lawsuits. Ms. Holder sits on the Women of Power Alumni Association Advisory Board; and is also the founder of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Expungement Clinic.

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