Chicago Police Officer Violates Man’s Constitutional Rights After Attempting To Arrest Him For Recording Her With Cell Phone

Footage recently surfaced online of Chicago police harassing two citizens, male and female, at a local park.

The footage in question was posted Aug. 7 by the female victim on YouTube. The description in the video reads: “7 cars show up to Garfield Park where we giving free massage to community, & attempt to cuff us for speaking up for the community. Car 6408, goes against the Sargeant, said we posed a threat!”

In the footage, the sergeant explains to a massage therapist his decision to disperse a community get together at the park.

“What we’re trying to do is reduce crowds, reduce any potential for violence. So these guys out here drinking, smoking weed, stuff like that, that’s the potential for violence,” the officer said.”

The therapist attempts to reason with the officer.

“Everybody up here is like a family,” she said. “If we do see something that’s out of line, people speak up. This is like a community, so I don’t feel like it’s justified.

“You can be here,” she continued. “We don’t mind you guys getting out the car and walking up and down the blocks and engaging and interacting with us. We don’t mind that. We don’t want you to come here and say ‘Hey, everybody just leave.’ Because we have nowhere else to go. This is our last place to go where we feel safe.”

A female officer soon interrupts the conversation and takes the male victim’s cell phone.

“Where’s your ID at? Did I give you permission to record me?” she said as she handcuffs the victims.

The female victim further elaborated on the incident in the comment section of the video:

“They slapped the cuff on my arm, & that’s when I said WTF but not cursing, what is going on, Why am I being handcuffed for talking to you, & the Sarg says he didn’t know why they were doing that, & he found it aggressive & overzealous. They tried to ticket us for INTOXICATION & I refused the ticket because neither of us was intoxicated, the female cop got so pissed when the Sarg made her disregard the ticket! She told me to leave but still had my license in her possession. The Sarg walked back over the then ask her was she done with us, because he didnt want to leave us with the crazed woman!”

The officer was wrong in her attempt to confiscate the phone. It is legal in Illinois to record a police officer.

A 50-year-old Illinois eavesdropping law was recently struck down in March 2014. Under the law, recording a conversation involving a cop was a Class 1 felony, with a possible 15-year prison term, according to the Chicago Tribune. The court ruled the 1962 law violated free speech and due process protections.

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