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Judge Again Blocks Efforts by Private Citizens to Post Bail for a Man Charged with Selling a $10 Bag of Heroin

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A Manhattan judge has again blocked efforts by private citizens to post bail for a man in jail for nearly a year and a half for a low-level drug offense. Calvin Baker, who is African American, was arrested in December 1999 when a policeman claimed that he witnessed, from a football field away, the defendant sell a $10 bag of heroin. A juror, Paula Thomson, first hung the jury, and then, in what may be the first case of its kind, posted $2,500 bail for Baker, whom she believed was innocent. But after Baker had been free for 10 days, the judge raised the bail to $10,000. Now the judge has again blocked attempts by a private citizen, in this case civil rights activist Randy Credico, to post bail. Randy Credico, director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice, joins us on the telephone.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: And a Manhattan judge has again blocked efforts by private citizens to post bail for a man in jail for more than 15 months. Calvin Baker, who’s African American, was arrested in December of 1999 when a policeman claimed he witnessed, from a football field away, the defendant sell a $10 bag of heroin. A juror, Paula Thomson, first hung the jury, then, in what may be the first case of its kind, posted $2,500 bail for Baker. But after Baker had been free for 10 days, the judge raised the bail to $10,000. Now the judge has blocked attempts to post bail again.

Randy Credico was attempting to post that bail. He’s with the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice. Randy Credico joins us on the line.

Can you tell us about this action yesterday?

RANDY CREDICO: Well, I went in there with a fellow from Wall Street, from Bear Stearns, and with $10,000 on Monday. He put up $6,500, I put up $3,500. We got in yesterday. The district attorney or assistant DA grilled me for about 20 minutes, asked me all sorts of impertinent questions about my relationship here with organizations that are against the current war on drugs. And afterwards, they denied me posting the bail, on something called public policy. So, I wasn’t allowed to bail the young man out. So, today, the attorney, Mr. Levinson, will be appealing that case.

AMY GOODMAN: Randy Credico, thanks for being with us, William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice.

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