Legal battle ends for trauma center protestors

By LINDSAY WELBERS
Staff Writer

The legal battle for the protestors arrested outside the University of Chicago’s new Center for Care and Discovery last month has come to an end.

Fearless Leading by the Youth (FLY) posted a video announcing the conclusion to the legal process on its Facebook page last Friday afternoon.

Alex Goldberg and Jacob Klippenstein were both charged with trespassing. Toussant Losier was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. Charges were dropped earlier this month against a fourth protestor, 17-year-old Victoria Crider.

Losier’s resisting arrest charge against was dropped and he pleaded guilty to trespassing. He was given one day of court supervision. Goldenberg and Klippenstein were given six months of court supervision after they pled guilty to trespassing. As part of the plea bargain they are unable to conduct any illegal activity on the University of Chicago medical campus, Losier said. They will continue to push for an adult trauma care center on the city’s South Side, he said.

“Definitely we will be going forward,” Losier said in a phone interview. “And we are really trying to capture a lot of the support and the good will that we’ve gotten over the past month or so and trying to see how we can use the momentum as a way to push this issue forward.”

In the video, Losier appears with Klippenstein and Goldenberg to announce the legal victory.

“We want to really build on this as a victory that we can use and carry us forward until we have the ultimate victory of being able to restore adult trauma care on the South Side of Chicago,” Losier said. “We took these deals because mainly because we wanted to make sure that we had all the time and the resources available to us to continue to organize. Because we’ve seen the momentous response over the past month of people really understanding and seeing the connections between so much of the violence that’s taking place on the South Side of Chicago, the gun violence that’s taking place and the health inequities, the racial inequities that exist in terms of the lack of trauma care but not just trauma care, lack of access to employment, quality education so on and so forth.”

One month after protestors were arrested outside the Center for Care and Discovery the school began to engage with students and community members, though not necessarily answering the protestors’ questions.
The first university-sanctioned forum to discuss the poor handling of the January protest by students and community members demanding increased access to trauma care on the South Side was held Thursday Feb., 28 in Swift Hall, 1025 E. 58th Ave.

The forum gave members of Students for Health Equality (SHE) and FLY the opportunity to voice their frustration with the lack of response or openness from the university.