Tag Archives: Illinois

First Amendment Audit: Chicago TSA Agent Claims Filming Airport Security Screening is Illegal, Calls Police

Ohare International Airport TSA Screening First Amendment Audit

A “First Amendment Auditor” was confronted by a TSA supervisor while legally filming security screenings at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and initially threatened with arrest.

Note: The video included within this post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via an anonymous reader submission. If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

This video embedded below shows what is known as a “First Amendment Audit.” That consists of going out and filming government buildings and other public property. Oftentimes, the police, security guards, government employees, and even members of the public don’t understand that the First Amendment protects a citizen’s right to take photos and/or record video of anything that is within view of a public place.

This particular audit took place within the TSA security screening area at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. As you can see in the screenshot above, the TSA employees were getting fairly intimate with some of the passengers going through the screening. (And no, there in fact was neither a movie, nor a dinner provided by the Transportation Security Administration afterwards.) Soon after, one of the screening agents noticed the camera and alerted a supervisor, by whom the camera woman was then confronted.

He approached, (very incorrectly) stated that it was illegal to film the screenings, and even briefly attempted to physically block her camera. Next, the supervisor threatened to call the Chicago police and have her arrested. When that didn’t scare her into stopping, he attempted to make good on that threat by calling (presumably) the police.

In the meantime, while he was on the phone, she returned her attention to filming. During that phone conversation she was also approached by several other TSA employees and told that she was not allowed to film the screenings. However, it is in fact very legal to film the screening area of airports and the screening process itself. The only restriction upon that is a rule against filming (or photographing) the monitors displaying the NSFW images that they take with their body scanners.

The woman in the video (AKA “It’s That Magic You Crave“) frequently posts First Amendment Audits and other videos to her Youtube channel: “Pink Camera Magic.” You can support her by making donations to her via GoFundMe.

***Spoiler Alert***

In the original description for the video on YouTube, a “surprise ending” is mentioned. Whoever the TSA supervisor was talking to apparently informed him that he was wrong and they weren’t going to send any cops down to arrest her for legally filming in public. However, that’s actually not the “surprise.” (Not the biggest one, at least.)

The shocking plot twist is that he told her that and even apologized about being wrong.

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

Virginia City, Illinois Police Treat Stabbing Victim as Suspect; Arrest Witness

Illinois Stabbing Victim Virginia City Cop Block

According to a reader submission, a man who was stabbed was treated as a suspect, rather than a victim, by Officer Steve Helmich and other Virginia City, Il. Police Officers.

Note: The description included within this post was shared with Nevada Cop Block by Nathan Danner via reader submission. If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

This post discusses the events surrounding an incident that happened in Virginia, Illinois. That incident involved some sort of altercation, in which a man named Charles Hudson was stabbed. According to an article I found, Jimmy Johnson (identified as “Old Man” in the submission) and his son Jeremiah Johnson (identified as “Man 1” in the submission) were later arrested for the stabbing.

According to Danner, rather than being helpful to Hudson after he had been stabbed, officers from the Virginia Police Department instead treated him as if he was a suspect. Danner states that Officer Steve Helmich even threatened to use a tazer on him. In addition, Danner was later himself arrested and had some of his personal belongings seized by VPD officers.

Subsequently, Ron Boris, the Virginia City Police Chief, and Officer Helmich have both resigned from the department. However, currently Chief Boris is running against Captain Devron Orhn to replace retiring Sheriff Bob Fair in Cass County. Virginia City is the county seat of Cass County, which means Chief Boris could potentially end up with even more power in Virginia City if he is elected.

Date of Incident: Oct. 7th, 2017
Officers Involved: Chief Ron Boris, Officer Steve Helmich, Captain Devron Orhn
Department Involved: City of Virginia, Il. Police Department
Facebook Page: Virginia Police Dept. on FB
Department Phone No.: (217) 452-3500

The Stabbing

October 7th, on or around 12am, I witnessed a stabbing behind the East Side bar in Virginia Il. I was standing in the back by the picnic table smoking a cigarette when I saw Charles Hudson being pursued by another male. After hearing Charles tell the other guy to get away, I flicked my cigarette and started towards the door.

Within seconds, they were in a skirmish. I turned back to watch. A man then exited a black truck with a truck topper. He was an older guy with a cane. “Old Man” pulled a knife. I ran over grabbing the guys shirt and ripping it while in the process. The old man turned to swing his cane at me, but missed. He then tried to swing the knife at me.

Trying not to get stabbed, while also trying to make sure Charles didn’t get stabbed, I let go of the man’s shirt. In that brief moment, the old man took to the ground where Charles and “Man 1” had each other in a double head lock, with Charles being in the front and man1 being in the back. The old man held the early 1900’s style “Texas Toothpick Knife” to Charles’ throat, repeatedly saying he was gong to slice his throat.

Charles let go of his choke hold and it was now just Man1 choking Charles and Old Man with a knife to Charles’ throat. Then Man 1, in my opinion, purposely let go of Charles and swung his arms up toward the hand that was holding the knife and thrust the knife into Charles’ throat. I screamed, “no! You just stabbed him in the F****** throat!” The old mam said,” And…let’s go son.”

I reached down to secure the wound, while simultaneously grabbing my phone to dial 911. At that time, I yelled to someone exiting the bar to come grab his wound as I pursued the truck screaming the vehicle description and license plate number to the 911 person. Charles popped off the ground with blood squirting from his neck. He managed to stagger into the bar, making it in four steps before collapsing to the ground.

With everybody scrambling, I grabbed a wad of napkins from the bar and pressed it on his neck. Laura, the bartender, grabbed some rags and Jeff Perkins sat on Charles, applying pressure to the wound. Several minutes passed before we saw the first lights approaching the bar.

It was Officer Helmich from the Virginia Police Department. All he wanted to do was yell at people and stand and watch Charles bleed. He was completely unprofessional. Then Mccombs pulled up, and I ran out the back begging him to hurry, as Helmich had no idea what he was doing.

The EMTs got there, who again were just standing around because they seemed incapable of helping. They had me pick Charles up off the ground of the bar and get him to the gurney. As they were taking him out the door through the front, Charles repeatedly said he was not going in the ambulance without one of three people present: his mother, his fiancé, or Cass County Sheriff Bob Fair.

Helmich threatened Charles with his tazer if he refused to get in the ambulance. I told Helmich, “that is against the law.” Helmich told me, “shut up or you’ll be tazed as well.” I then pulled my phone back out to record the injustices that were going on.

I turned to Mccombs and asked if he wanted me to go retrieve one of those people Charles was asking for and he said, “yes, please do so.” I then went to get his fiancé and brought her back up town. I went in to the bar grabbed an ice water and left East Side with Jeff Perkins. I stopped in Good Times to try and get a beverage, but it was 1:30am and they were no longer serving. I walked back to my car, grabbed my cans of soda, and headed off to Jeff’s house.

Two officers came to Jeff’s house to ask me for a statement, which I refused to give them until I had an in person apology and a written apology from the officer who threatened to taze me. Chief Boris agreed that it was more than fair. Some time went by and I was down to my last cigarette. So I went on a walk back up town to retrieve a new pack from the vehicle I was using for the night.

I only got within 15 ft. of the vehicle and was told by Helmich to put my hands behind my back because I was under arrest. So I turned around, was placed in handcuffs, searched without consent, and put in the back of the police car. I was then taken to Jacksonville to be booked. Helmich gave me two tickets with a written time of 1:10 am. One ticket was for disorderly conduct and one ticket was for resisting/obstructing a police officer. I made bond for $150.

As soon as I returned to Virginia, I went to the Virginia Police Department to try and retrieve my property that they had illegally seized. Those items being my Samsung Galaxy S8 plus a 10 dollar bill and one Marlboro Black cigarette. They refused to give me back my property, or present a warrant for seizure, of said property. I then asked for them to let me file my complaint on paper with them, which they refused.

I asked for the sheriff or a sheriff’s deputy to come up and they refused. Both officers refused to identify themselves when I asked for them to do so. I had to send my mother and uncle to Sheriff Bob Fair’s house to try to wake him up. When he didn’t answer, I sent them to Deputy (Captain) Devron Ohrn’s. Devron came straight to the sheriff’s office and let me write my statement regarding the illegal search and seizure of my property.

My Speech at the City Council Meeting on Monday, October 9th

Hello,

My name is Nathan Danner and tonight I’m here to shed light on some recent events that took place in our small community. On Sat., October 7th at about 12:00 am, a stabbing took place behind the East Side bar, here in Virginia. This already horrible situation was made even worse by the actions and response of our city police and EMT service.

During the time Charles Hudson was laying on the ground and bleeding out, our police and EMT personnel were just standing there watching, seemingly unable to help. I had to pick Charles up off the ground and carry him to the gurney. While outside the front of East Side, Charles refused medical attention until one of three people were present.

He was threatened to be tazed by Officer Helmich if he didn’t get in the ambulance. I spoke up and assured Officer Helmich that was illegal and it was his right to choose what happens to him. The officer treated Charles as if he were the criminal when he was clearly the victim. Our officers showed me that during the times we need them the most we could not count on them to do their jobs correctly or professionally.

Later that night, I was given two tickets: one for disorderly conduct and one for resisting/obstruction of a peace officer. I bonded out and returned to the police station, only trying to obtain the items that were illegally seized at the time of my arrest. Those items were: my cellphone, a $10 bill, and a single cigarette.

Chief Boris and Officer Helmich refused to identify themselves when asked to. They also refused to give me back my property, and refused to let me file my report. Thankfully I was able to wake Deputy Sheriff Devron Orhn out of bed to allow me to file a report.

Over the last month, there have been several occasions of people in our community getting their civil rights violated and suffering abuse as extreme as felony assault with a tazer. This includes:

  • Micheal Rogers, who was tazed in the sheriff’s office by a city officer
  • A man passed out in his yard, whom a citizen was seeking medical attention for, was threatened to be tazed by Officer Helmich.
  • Officer Helmich using intimidation on Charles by threatening him with his tazer.
  • Helmich threatening me with his tazer and giving unjust and unfair tickets to try and cover his tracks.

Today, I’m calling for appropriate actions to take place in order to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Thank you

The “Aftermath”

Man 1 and Old Man have both been arrested.

  • Old Man on charges of attempted murder and mob action.
  • Man 1 on a charge of mob action.

The two officers have put in their letters of resignation and their last day of work in our town is Nov. 13.

– Nathan Danner

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

Watch This Video for “Piggy Piggy,” a Controversial Police Brutality Parody, by Chicago Rock Band “Black Bear Rodeo”

Piggy Piggy Video by Black Bear Rodeo Nevada Cop Block

“Piggy Piggy,” by Chicago rock band Black Bear Rodeo. The video which was released earlier this year features an anti-police brutality theme and imagery.

Note: The video and description included within this post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via reader submission. If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

The video embedded below was submitted by a reader. It features the song “Piggy Piggy” by a Chicago based band named Black Bear Rodeo. It was released as part of their April 2017 album “Bunk.” As you’ll see in the video, live performance footage is interspersed with video showing incidents of police brutality, along with some more comical scenes involving the police. (There’s also some sweet cameos of Cop Block gear mixed throughout.)

Stevie Mac, the person who submitted it, deemed the video a “controversial police brutality parody.” While it seems kinda ridiculous that being against the abuse and outright murder of people would be controversial, it actually kinda is. So yeah, that’s the world we are living in these days.

At any rate, personally I think “Piggy Piggy” is a damn good song. If you’re into a heavier rock and punk style of music, you should enjoy it, too. (If you aren’t into that kind of music, you should probably question your upbringing and life choices. #JusSayin.) The video itself is very well done and does a good job of visually matching the energy and pace of the music. It’s well worth checking out.

Chicago rock and roll natives “Black Bear Rodeo” have teamed up with recording engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Bush) to give you “Piggy Piggy.” The video for this song (embedded below) features a montage of police brutality videos to raise awareness of a serious, systemic issue through a comical, yet terrifying, medium.

– Stevie Mac

We strongly encourage any bands, musicians, or fans out there to share songs that you (or someone you enjoy listening to) have put out. Music is obviously a great way to get the message out and connect with others of a like mind. So if you or someone you know records music with a (controversial) anti-police brutality theme and/or has a history of being involved in activism of that nature, send it in. In return, those of us here at NVCopBlock will do as much as we can to help promote it and expose your band to the masses.

Upcoming Live Shows by Black Bear Rodeo

Black Bear Rodeo is currently on tour and will be playing an Xmas show on Dec. 23rd at Demma’s Bar and Grill in Oak Lawn, IL. After that, they play a show with Green Jelly on January 5th at Beat Kitchen in Chicago. Links to other places on the internets where you can find information on, music by, and tour dates for Black Bear Rodeo are included below. If you live in the Chicago area or they come to a venue near you, you should get out and see them live.

Other Places You Can Find Black Bear Rodeo

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

  1. Las Vegas Punk Band Apathetix Plays “ACAB” Live at the Womb Room
  2. Pennsylvania Councilman Proposes Bill For Cops to Target Music Festivals And Performers
  3. “Kelly” (Thomas) – Music Video by Surrogates
  4. My Ransomed Soul – Monarch (Anti-Police Brutality Music Video)
  5. “Im Upset” (Music Video)
  6. Tim Commerford of Rage Against The Machine Waterboards John McEnroe in New Video
  7. Police Issue Important Warning About Men Challenging Passers-By to Rap Battles
  8. Submit Your Own Story of Police Abuse/Corruption
  9. Help Wanted! How You Can Become Involved With NVCopBlock
  10. #FTP – How and Why You Should Always Film The Police
  11. Press Passes for Independent Media and Freelance Journalists
  12. How to File a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) Request
  13. “Let Me See Your I.D.” Stop and Identify Statutes – Know Your Rights
  14. Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!
  15. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation
  16. A Video Compilation of Las Vegas Area Police Brutality
  17. Donate to the Cause – Help Us Help You Fight The Power

False Imprisonment: Its Increasing Frequency and the Huge Cost It Imposes on Society

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously by a reader, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.

Police Abuses on the Rise

It’s no secret that police brutality and misconduct has been on the rise recently with cases in the news like Eric Garner who was suffocated in a choke hold by police and killed for illegally selling cigarettes. Similarly, a 12-year-old boy Tamir Rice was shot and killed after playing with a toy gun in the park. The level of uneasiness between police officers and citizens has hit an all-time high and we see this unrest play out in society. Police brutality is not the only form of police misconduct- false arrest of citizens can be an excruciating experience that sends innocent people to prison for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For example, Chicago’s taxpayers have had to pay over $120 million for the racial torture committed by one police commander, Jon Burge. Part of the disconnect between officers and citizens is the unfairness in power and how that power is used. To add on to this, police are offered different treatment when it comes to false arrests or misconduct. Although Burge oversaw the torture of over 118 black men – which would typically lead to decades in prison – he was released in three-and-a-half years and sent to a halfway house. All the men he tortured remain behind bars.

Police officers were granted a Qualified Immunity Doctrine by the Supreme Court which essentially states that police officers are innocent of harm towards their suspects in most cases due to their risky and honorable line of work. The best intentions are seen to be associated with most police officers, but has that been the case recently?

Typically, false arrest from police officers falls into the police misconduct category, which can also encompass police brutality and wrongful death. According to the University of Michigan Law School’s National Registry of Exonerations report, 75% of homicide exonerations involved police misconduct. One widely publicized example of a wrongful arrest was James Bain, who was convicted of kidnapping and rape at the age of 18. He served 35 years for a vicious crime he did not commit. Although DNA evidence was tested and presented prior, he was refused further DNA testing from the courts until his fifth try in 2006. Although misidentification from eyewitnesses account for 75% of all convictions that are overturned by DNA evidence, Bain was wrongfully arrested and incarcerated by police.

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How Does False Imprisonment Affect the Public?

Some people may think that the police arrest people who they think are guilty of a crime, and if they are wrongfully arrested, they are quickly released and go about their happy lives. That is far from the truth in most cases where the arrest was outright wrong and unlawful. Many people who are falsely arrested fight back and sue the police officer who wronged them and because of this, the public is responsible for paying that fee.

Amount of Money City Taxpayers Have Paid for Police Misconduct:

  • Chicago: $521 million from 2004-2014
  • Cleveland: $8.2 million between 2004-2014
  • Denver: $12 million since 2011
  • Dallas: $6.6 million between 2011-2014
  • Los Angeles: $101 million between 2002-2011

For example, Robert Graham was arrested for disorderly conduct by a police officer who was stuck in traffic behind him. Due to the gridlock traffic in New York City, Graham was also stuck in traffic and unable to move. The police officers wrongfully arrested Graham due to the circumstances of the situation. Graham’s wrongfully arrested cases was one of the ones that contributed to New York taxpayers paying $18 million to pay back people who were wrongfully arrested by officers.

According to Jon Norinsberg, a false imprisonment attorney, New York city police may only legally arrest citizens if:

  1. The police have an arrest warrant.
  2. The police have probable cause that you committed a crime.
  3. You are interfering with a police investigation or arrest.
  4. The police believe you are a criminal attempting to flee a crime scene.

Why are Police Officers Getting Away with False Imprisonment?

The number of innocent people behind bars is the highest number it has ever been historically, so it is only natural to question the source – the police. Why has it become okay to so quickly convict people and rarely face punishment as a police officer for wrongfully arresting someone? The issue gets stickier when videos of police officers using excessive force and even killing citizens when they appeared to pose no threat. Are there consequences for that? Rarely.

Unfortunately, false arrests happen and can be scary to argue your case in front of a judge – especially because police are most often shielded by the Qualified Immunity Doctrine exercised by the Supreme Court. This is a protective order that is designed to protect police officers from facing punishments from their mistakes or unlawful actions. In theory, this Qualified Immunity Doctrine was originally designed to shield officers who are properly bringing justice to criminals and who handle situations appropriately – if someone is upset for getting arrested if they deserve it, well this doctrine will protect the police from this potential complaint or lawsuit. Since videos have been released of police officers using unnecessary excessive force on unarmed people, citizens are growing scared that officers are abusing this immunity from the Supreme Court to get away with their unjust behavior. This is where a disconnect lies between police officers and citizens.

Where is the Accountability From the Police?

Why is it that as a society we only started paying attention to police misconduct and false arrests when Netflix featured programs like Making a Murderer?

Police officers are designed to keep our communities safe. While most cops are heroes and upstanding citizens who work hard to protect our safety, those who entered the police force to unlawfully assert power over others and take advantage of their badge are getting more press in recent news. Although it’s an unfortunate circumstance, it is important to stay educated on what is happening in society to better educate yourself and to hopefully make a positive change.

Chicago Cop (Only) Fired for Shooting Sixteen Times at the Victims of a Drive By Then Lying About It

Last week, the Chicago Independent Police Review Authority, one of those civilian oversight boards that are designed to make it appear police aren’t investigating themselves, voted to fire Officer Francisco “Frank” Perez over a shooting that took place in 2011. Amazingly, considering the level of corruption and violence that is routinely carried out by members of the Chicago Police Department, this was actually the first time the board had ever voted to fire a cop for a shooting in its ten years of existence. (If you know anything about the reality of police oversight boards, that actually won’t be that surprising.)

The shooting for which Perez was eventually fired involved a drive by shooting at a restaurant where he was working during his off-time as a security guard. Three people were shot, including one fatally, by a car that pulled up next to another car parked in front of the restaurant. Officer Perez responded to the shooting and began firing his gun. However, instead of shooting at the car that had committed the drive by, he began shooting into the parked car.

Before all was said and done, Perez had fired 16 shots into that car hitting one of the occupants. Later, when he was being questioned about the shooting by internal affairs, he lied about which car he was actually shooting at, apparently maintaining that he was just a really bad shot. Even after being shown the video, he continued insisting that he was firing at the other car, which had driven away before he began firing.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

According to authorities, the shooting occurred shortly before 4 a.m. Nov. 5, 2011, outside the La Pasadita restaurant in the 1100 block of North Ashland Avenue. Perez was off-duty and working security for the restaurant when an occupant of a red Mitsubishi Galant opened fire after pulling up beside a blue Chrysler 300M that was double-parked in front of the restaurant.

The evidence against Perez hinged largely on video obtained from a surveillance camera outside the restaurant. After the Mitsubishi had sped from the scene, the footage showed Perez moving toward the Chrysler and firing his weapon at the rear of the vehicle, according to IPRA. Perez continued to fire as the Chrysler took off, IPRA said.

Yet even after viewing the video in 2015, Perez continued to maintain that he had fired at the red car.

In testifying before a Police Board hearing officer last year, Perez did not dispute that he mistakenly shot an occupant in the Chrysler but said he was aiming at the red car seconds after the drive-by shooting.

Three people standing outside the restaurant were shot, one fatally.

A lawyer representing the Police Department contended that Perez should be fired for lying and shooting an “innocent bystander.”

But Perez’s lawyer, Daniel Herbert, described his client as a hero and dismissed the allegations against him as preposterous.

John Farrell, who testified as an expert on use of force on behalf of Perez, defended the off-duty officer’s decision to open fire because the gunman in the red car had just committed a forcible felony and was attempting to escape.

Farrell also criticized the quality of the video as not “top notch.” He said the video did not depict what Perez saw that night because the camera captured the scene from a different angle than what the off-duty officer viewed. It also gave a limited view of what took place that night, he said.

In addition, Farrell testified that outside factors, including tunnel vision and an inability in the poor lighting to distinguish the colors of the two cars, could have played a role in the incident.

But the Police Department lawyer, Special Assistant Corporation Counsel James Fieweger, told the hearing officer that he was skeptical that Perez intended to fire at the Mitsubishi because the car was a full block and a half away when he opened fire. The odds that Perez would be successful in hitting the moving vehicle in the dark at that distance were minuscule, he said.

“I think Officer Perez was trying to do the right thing, but he was ill-informed and made a horrible mistake,” Fieweger said. “He’s been offered multiple opportunities to correct his story. If an officer’s gonna lie to cover that up, what else is he gonna lie about?”

IL Police Assault Innocent, Cooperative Black Man After Racist Woman Report He Stole His Own Car

Dash camera video released by police in a suburb of Chicago shows a man being assaulted even though he’s completely innocent and not resisting in any way. Evanston, Il. police had stopped Lawrence Crosby, a black man, because a racist woman that saw him working on his car assumed that he must be stealing it. She called to police to report it and then began following him as he drove to the Northwestern University campus, where he is attending as a graduate student.

Soon after, Crosby was pulled over by a group of unnamed Evanston police officers, after having initially (correctly) thought that someone suspicious was following him. He can then be seen on the video stepping out of the vehicle, raising his arms when told to, and attempting to get down on the ground as he had also been instructed to.

However, before he can finish doing so, at least five cops rush forward and beginning assaulting him. As they throw him to the ground he is kneed at least once by one of the officers. Then after he is already on the ground being held down, several of the officers can be seen punching him as they yell, “stop resisting!” repeatedly.

Crosby can be heard on the audio from an officer’s microphone telling them that he is not resisting. He also informs them that they are being recorded in an effort to stop them from beating him any further. Although it hasn’t yet been released publicly, Crosby also had a dash cam of his own within the car, with which he recorded the entire incident.

Via Fox32Chicago.com:

On October 10, 2015, Lawrence Crosby was working on his car around 7:00 PM when a woman passing by saw what she thought was an African American man breaking into a vehicle and stealing it. She called 9-1-1 and then followed the vehicle, relaying information to the dispatcher about the location.

“Hi somebody’s trying to break into, somebody’s trying to break into a car,” the woman told the dispatcher. ”I Think the person just got into the car.”

Crosby, an engineering doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, was driving from his apartment to campus when he was stopped. He had his own dashcam video recording in his car, and before the stop, he can be heard talking to someone saying he thought he was being followed. He was reportedly headed to the police station because of those suspicions, when police pulled him over in a church parking lot.

The dashcam video shows him get out with his hands up with a cellphone in his hand and he then gets taken down by officers who thought they were dealing with someone who stole a car.

“On the ground… on the ground… down on the ground… down on the ground…turn around,” the officers can be heard yelling as they knee Crosby to bring him to the ground and then punch him.

“I’m cooperating…sir, you’re on video… that’s an FYI,” Crosby can be heard telling the officers. He had moved to the front of his car to put himself within view of his own camera.

So…about that whole just don’t break the law and follow the orders Police Heroes give you and everything will be just fine theory…

Police Dash Camera Footage

Local News Coverage

Update: Chicago Cop Who Admitted Firing Gun While Driving Drunk Acquitted by Judge

In spite of maintaining that he was “acutely aware” of the fact people are really tired of cops getting off without any sort of repercussions for their (often violent) actions, Cook County Judge James Linn chose to drop charges against an off-duty Chicago police officer who admitted to firing his gun five times during a confrontation with a firefighter and an off-duty cop from another jurisdiction while driving drunk.

As I previously posted here on the CopBlock Network, Chicago firefighter Charles Ostrowski, along with his passenger, off-duty Merrionette Park Police Officer Dominic Dimaggio, began following Officer John Gorman after witnessing him driving erratically. When they eventually caught up to him, Gorman fired five shots toward them, one of which hit the bumper of Ostrowski’s truck. During the trial, Gorman claimed that he fired the gun into the air as “warning shots.”

Via Chicago.CBS.Local.com:

John Gorman had been drinking before he got behind the wheel on Nov. 23, 2014, but off-duty Merrionette Park police officer Dominic Dimaggio and his friend Charles Ostrowski were behaving aggressively and in an “threatening manner,” Judge James Linn said.

Gorman wasn’t sure who these men in a large “military-type truck” were and what they were up to, Linn said in dismissing aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated battery charges.

“This was not a situation [Gorman] started. This was a situation he was confronted with,” Linn said.

Dimaggio and Ostrowski, then an off-duty suburban firefighter, said Gorman almost hit a flower vendor at 111th and Pulaski.

Moments later, Dimaggio got out of Ostrowski’s Ford F-250 and knocked on Gorman’s tan Buick while he was stopped in traffic to ask if he was okay.

Dimaggio said he had been holding his badge the whole time. Gorman said he never saw a badge.

As Dimaggio screamed “why are you driving like an “—hole?” while pounding on his window, Gorman and his partner were rightfully scared not knowing who Dimaggio was, Linn said.

Gorman drove off and Dimaggio called 911. But instead of taking the dispatcher’s advice to let authorities handle the situation, Dimaggio and Ostrowski tailed Gorman as he drove toward the 22nd District, Linn said.

It was at Prospect and Pryor that Gorman said he got out of his car and shot five warning shots in the air as Ostrowski’s truck came “barreling” toward him. Ostrowski said he only hit the gas pedal and went around Gorman because he saw a gun in Gorman’s hand. Ostrowski and Dimaggio said they ducked beneath the dashboard and only heard the gun go off as they passed Gorman.

“I had no idea who he was or why he was pursuing us,” Gorman said of the men.

“I didn’t know if he was someone I had previously arrested or he was trying to carjack us.”

No bullets holes were found on Ostrowski ‘s truck that day.

However, three weeks later, Ostrowski found a hole–possibly caused by a bullet–on his back bumper.

Linn admitted a “disconnect” between the stories and said neither party was looking for trouble that day.

When clearing Gorman of the felony charges, Linn said he was “acutely aware” of the societal feelings of police officers’ conduct. He said while police officers shouldn’t be treated better, they shouldn’t be treated “worse” either.

Obviously, convicting a cop who pulled out a gun while driving drunk and fired off five rounds (even if you buy the story that he shot into the air) while involved in a confrontation with other drivers would certainly be “worse” than the treatment any average citizen would receive under similar circumstances.

It was also announced after the trial to reporters by Gorman’s lawyer, Michael Clancy, that the DUI charge Gorman had been facing had been dropped prior to the judge’s ruling. That decision was made even though Gorman, who wasn’t tested until over five hours after he was arrested, had registered a .07 blood alcohol level, just below the .08 that is considered legally intoxicated.

Arrested in South Elgin, Illinois for Knowing the Law

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Richard S. Blum, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. In the post, Richard describes being unlawfully arrested by an Illinois police officer and how even after the bogus charge was thrown out it ended up costing him.

Date of Incident: Fall of 2015
Officer Involved: Officer Nelson
Department Involved: South Elgin (IL) Police Department

A friend and I went to the Winner’s Circle bar in S. Elgin, IL. We were sitting at the bar when Officer Nelson came in and asked the bar back if he could go into the back office to look for the owner, Tammy. As it was her first day on the job, she was confused about what was happening.

She looked at me, so I told her that without a warrant he could not go into the back. That’s when officer Nelson told me to mind my own business and if I have no interest in the bar to keep my mouth shut. He then asked her for permission to go into back office. She looked at me again and I told her that if he has no warrant he cannot go back there. That’s when all attention was directed towards me.

First, he pointed his finger in my face, telling me to show ID; the whole time with his finger one inch from my nose. As I was getting my wallet out, I pointed my index finger at him, saying he should know the law better than me. That’s when he told me that I was under arrest for battery to a police officer. At that point, I was handcuffed, put into his police car, and brought to jail, laughing that I was being jailed for knowing the law.

A month later at the court date, I showed up with my lawyer Gary Topel. The best part was when the judge asked Officer Nelson what happened that day. He said almost the same as I had about the events of the day, but said that he was around ten feet from me, not one inch from me. Also, he a said he was in fear for his life from my index finger even from ten feet away. I could not help but laugh, after which my lawyer said to refrain from that. I didn’t even have a chance to tell my side of the story before the judge threw the charge out.

Months later, while I was looking for a new job, they did a criminal background check on me. To my surprise, there was a battery charge on my record. I thought since it was thrown out of court it would not be on my record. I called Gary Topel and asked him what was going on. He told me to have it taken off my record would cost me $650.00.

I think Officer Nelson is using his badge to do whatever he likes. It’s sad that it cost me a job because he didn’t know the law he was hired to uphold. I’m just amazed that doing nothing more than pointing my finger and knowing the law could cost me so much.

– Richard S. Blum

Retired Chicago Cop, “Medal of Valor” Winner, Arrested for Burning Homeless Man’s Tent and Belongings

A man who was arrested for arson after he burned the tent and personal belongings of an area homeless man is a retired Chicago police officer. In fact, Sergeant James R. Povolo, much like a slew of other violent cops that have been exposed as criminals, was a former award winning officer.

Although the exact reason for his recognition is unknown (because the Chicago Police Department attempted to hide the fact that he was once one of their Good Cops), the Naperville Sun confirmed, via a FOIA request, that he was recipient of the department’s “Medal of Valor,” which is awarded for acts of “heroism, personal courage, and devotion to duty” by police officers.

The case he stands accused of currently is decidedly unheroic, though. Although investigators haven’t provided any motive for his actions, the victim was an outspoken and well known activist and political protester who has been involved in a long standing battle with the government officials in Naperville.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

In the Naperville case, Povolo was arrested less than two weeks after the alleged arson. Prosecutors said he approached Huber’s tent at a time he knew Huber would not be there and set fire to it, reportedly with a cigarette. Police have offered no motive for Povolo’s alleged action and have not disclosed what information prompted them to arrest Povolo.

(Scott) Huber, 66, lost his two-tent encampment and most of his possessions in the blaze. At the time, he said he was most distressed about the destruction of numerous computer discs on which he had stored what he said was the history of his political struggles with Naperville officials, police and local judges.

He has battled Naperville authorities for about 20 years, ever since losing his electronics business and being evicted from his home. He is protesting what he says has been unfair and illegal treatment by authorities.

Povolo’s next court hearing is March 1. The terms of his bond were modified last month so he could travel from his Naperville home in the 1300 block of Dartford Court to his Key Colony Beach home in Florida, where he is a legal resident and where he winters from fall to spring, according to court records. Under the original terms, he could not leave the state without permission from Judge Liam C. Brennan, who is presiding over his trial.

“Defendant (Povolo), because of injuries sustained while employed ‘on the job’ as a police officer for the City of Chicago, has artificial knees, and does not well tolerate cold weather,” Povolo’s attorney Charles Dobra wrote in his petition.

Admittedly, it would be a shame if Povolo had to face the cold unprotected within his Illinois summer home, rather than being afforded the warmth of his winter home in Florida, just because he intentionally and maliciously destroyed the shelter and most of the personal belongings of another man for no apparent reason. He is a Medal of Valor winner, after all.

Trial Begins For Chicago Cop Charged With Driving Drunk; Shooting Gun at Firefighter

After witnessing it almost hit other cars in traffic, Charles Ostrowski, a Chicago firefighter, began following a car owned by off-duty Chicago Police Officer John Gorman, who was drunk at the time. Gorman responded by jumping out of his car and pointing his gun at Ostrowski’s truck and then firing five shots at it as he tried to steer around Gorman.

Fortunately, neither Ostrowski nor his friend Dominic Dimaggio, the other occupant of the truck and who also was an off-duty police officer from a different department, were hit by the shots. However, one of the bullets did hit the rear bumper of the truck. Officer Gorman admitted to firing at them, but in his version of events he was defending himself from Ostrowski and Dimaggio, who actually were the aggressors.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

The incident began as Ostrowski and Dimaggio drove home after lunch at a Palos Heights bar and a stop at an American Legion Hall in Worth. They were driving east on 111th Street when the Buick passed them and sped through traffic, weaving in and out of lanes, Ostrowski testified.

After seeing the Buick nearly strike the flower vendor after the light turned green at Pulaski Road, the two began following the car as Gorman continued to drive recklessly, Ostrowski testified.

When Gorman stopped near 111th Street and Spaulding Avenue, the suburban cop stepped out of the truck, showed his badge and told Gorman to roll down his window.

Dimaggio said, “I’m the police. Are you OK? Roll down your window. We need to talk about your driving,” Ostrowski testified.

But on cross-examination by (Gorman’s lawyer, Michael) Clancy, Ostrowski admitted telling police that day that his friend had asked, “Why are you driving like an (expletive)?”

Ostrowski also acknowledged that the police report did not indicate his friend had identified himself as a suburban cop.

When the left-turn light turned green, Gorman sped around the truck and continued driving east, Ostrowski testified. Dimaggio then called 911.

At Prospect and Pryor avenues, Gorman stopped the car and got out. He walked to the rear of his car, displayed a pistol, raised his arm and pointed the gun at the front of the truck, according to testimony.

Officer Gorman was sloppy drunk at the time and even had open beer containers strewn around on the inside of his car. However, he refused a breathalyzer initially and by the time he was compelled to take one by the department’s internal affairs division over five hours had passed. At that point, his blood alcohol level still registered 0.07, just 0.01 below the legal level to be considered intoxicated. However, as a result he was only charged with misdemeanor DUI.