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Chicago Cop Assaults Photographer, then Claims Harassment

Francisco Jotautas

Chicago police officer Francisco Jotautas, the cop who photographer Chuck Jines says assaulted him. (Photo by Chuck Jines)

 

A Chicago photographer says he was assaulted by a police officer while shooting a protest against the closing of 50 schools.

Chuck Jines doesn’t give much detail about the assault on his blog but updated it four days later by saying he had tracked down the cop’s phone number through by Google by typing in the cop’s last name from his uniform, which was Jotauta.

He then called it in order to confirm the cop’s first name, which turned out to be Francisco.

A woman, whom he believes is Francisco Jotautas’s wife,  answered and confirmed he had reached the right household.

Jines thanked her and hung up. Minutes later, he received a call from Jotauta, who accused him of harassing him.

Then a few days later, he received a call from a detective claiming the same thing.

Jines doesn’t appear too concerned about their intimidation tactics.  I sent him a message this morning asking for an interview but he has not yet responded (his phone number is not as easily found on Google as Jotautas’ number).

This is how he explains it on his blog:

UPDATE: May 26, 2013

I just got off the phone with a Detective Steve Lazzara of the Chicago police (Hello, officer!;-). Seems officer Francisco Jotautas thinks it was a crime for me to call his house in order to get conformation on his full name.

According to officer Jotautas, he is now the victim! Lol… right, assault me, and then cry when I stand up for myself – how grand! I called the number that I had  found online through a Google search in order to acquire his first name. His name tag only had his last name.

There is no crime in calling a police officer. I called one time, asked if this was officer Jotautas’ number, and then said “thank you,” before hanging up:

Me – “Hello, is officer Jota… Jotaa, I’m sorry, I can’t pronounce the last name.”

Person that answered the phone: “Officer Jotautas?”

Me – “Yes, that’s it.”

Person that answered the phone: “I’m sorry, he’s at work.”

Me – “Thank you.” (hung up)

That was the extent of my conversation with whoever answered the phone. I now had confirmation of officer Jotautas’  full name. I believe it was his wife who had answered the phone. A few minutes later I received a call from officer Jotautas, apparently from his cell phone.

I identified myself as the photographer he had assaulted earlier that day. He said, “but I got your phone number.” I replied, “so what? I’m not doing anything wrong, nor do I have anything to hide. Now, don’t call me again.”

UPDATE: Here is a video where Jines goes into detail about the assault.

 

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About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.