According to prosecutors, environmental activists who have been protesting President Donald Trump’s agenda, have caused thousands of dollars in damages to the River North skyscraper during their protests.
At Leighton Criminal Court, four people stood accused on Sunday of felony charges. They’re accused of hanging a Greenpeace banner from Trump Tower’s 16th floor terrace with the words “Resist” and “Defend”.
Jeremy Alpert (43), Taylor Blevons (27), Wendy Jennings (38) and David Khoury (47) were all charged with the felonies of misdemeanor reckless conduct and criminal damage to property.
As the assistant state’s attorney Craig Taczy recounted how their 100 by 30-foot banner forcefully tugged at the 16th floor terrace, the defendants stood stone faced with the hands behind their backs.
The defendants lifted the banner and tied it to the terrace’s stainless-steel railing.
“As the banner was being raised, the stainless-steel railing that held the banner was severely damaged from surrounding winds that made the banner swing in the manner of a wind sail, damaging brackets that held the windows in place,” Taczy said.
The estimated costs of the structural damages caused is about $10,000. Chicago police reported that repairs to windows and railings was about $15,000 and each custom-made bracket that holds the windows cost about $1,500 each.
Judge Donald Panarese Jr. has allowed the defendants to be able to go home with electronic monitoring and they have been warned that if they fail to reappear at court they will be sentenced in absence. “Go home, and come back,” Panarese said.
Jessica Bryant (31) and Shirley Sexton (54) have also been accused of being involved. Each face misdemeanor charges. There is a seventh suspect that has yet to be found said Taczy.
The banner had the word “resist” with an arrow pointing at Trump’s name on the building and “defend” above a picture of the planet Earth.
“This action demonstrates that we will not accept the threats that the Trump administration poses to people here and around the world,” the organization said, quoting one of the people who hung the banner.
“Ignoring the science of climate change and removing us from the Paris Climate Agreement is just another indication that the billionaires who have hijacked our democracy are putting the short-term profit of corporations over people and the planet,” added the statement from Blevons.