October 29th, 2013

Illinois Cop Threatens to Arrest Man on Felony Charges for Recording Him in Public 126

By Carlos Miller

Despite the fact that the Illinois eavesdropping law was determined to be unconstitutional earlier this year, police still continue to threaten citizens with felonies for recording them in public.

The Sycamore police officer was parked on the side of a busy road as the man walked up to him. The cop then stepped out of his car and the man asked him for his name.

The cop, in turn, threatened to arrest him with a felony if he did not stop recording. The man protested but when the cop threatened a second time, he stopped recording.

It is not clear what led up to the exchange, but it apparently involved the man’s father, who possibly was cited for a traffic violation or accident. Just speculating since there are no details in the video’s description.


Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.
  • Horace Hogsnort

    Same old story, the cops have their laws and the rest of us have our’s.

  • Jim Holmes

    These cops are jackasses who need to be sued as individuals in addition to their position as officers.

    • TINY

      JIM: fact is, when they do go outside the POWER that they have, they do make themselves liable for an action! it could even be filed in SMALL CLAIMS COURT i believe, put only a few of those together, and they would be shelling out cash awards in the 10’s of thousands of USD amounts. they could not handle that very well. they would soon get the MSG. to back off! and the word would spread fast. very fast! JIM-it wouldnt take but a few if us, not many at all, i think. . As i have said, i would go side by side with anyone that attempt to go to any city-hall or where ever, in the south fla. area, and be there for a FOIA on the records of any city in the south florida area. any takers out there? i have made this offer before and havent heard back from anyone. is this southeast coast really full of yellow backs like it seems to me, to be that it is?

      • Fotaugrafee

        The whole country is full of “yellow backs”, sadly. Us “rabblerousers” are far in the minority…for now.

      • jcfromnj

        Good legal point!!! This was a Small Claims court issue issue that was setled as far back as WW11 with Miller vs Municipal Court LA CA 1943. This is a hook that can be used for recovery of damages in a Civil Rights violation for a cheap way to get them into Court. Doing it myself for recvovery of Legal Fees for a case that was dismissed in Muni Court. They never saw it coming..

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          LOL, yeah, a California decision (Miller v. Municipal Court of Los Angeles, 142 P.2d 297 (Cal. 1943)) by a state court will bind the courts of Illinois. Not.

          • jcfromnj

            ExCop-LawStudent: I shudder to think that you will represent client’s or Victim’s, depending how you look at it. It’s a precedence (look that word up in Blacks Law). No one has done it, (except me) and it’s called ” new law” or a legal fiction that can be used on your behalf..Being the lazy lawyer that you will probably be, you won’t work for your client, and he will end up in jail after you Plead him out.. If you want to go to jail, just pay a Bar Assn. Attorney, and go Directly To Jail, Monopoly style.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            LOL. OK.

            Does the term “internet lawyer wannabe” mean anything to you?

            A court decision in one state has no binding authority in another state. If the second state does not have a statutory or case law that is on point, you may be able to use it to persuade the court to rule in that manner, but there is no guarantee.

            To be a binding decision (which is what precedent, not “precedence” means), it has to be from the same jurisdiction. What you have is persuasive precedent, which is “A precedent that is not binding on a court, but that is entitled to respect and careful consideration. • For example, if the case was decided in a neighboring jurisdiction, the court might evaluate the earlier court’s reasoning without being bound to decide the same way.” PRECEDENT, Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), precedent.

          • jcfromnj

            ExCop: Here’s a little story about “paper trained” law students:

            Just brought a new puppy. I “paper trained” him, but he shit’s on the rug. A rolled-up newspaper across the snout is much for effective method of teaching. He still can’t read the paper, but he doesn’t shit on the rug anymore….

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            OK, done with you.

            I’ve learned a long time ago that arguing with a whackjob is pointless.

          • JDS

            You must be new here. EC-LS is a longstanding PINAC advocate and had shown on several occasions that he knows his stuff. You, on the other hand… all hat, no cattle.

  • howard

    that is very true Horace, the COPS and the JUDICIAL system make it as they go. they will lie, they will tell you your going to jail if dot do what they say to do. even though what they are telling you, they dont have the power to tell you! and the courts will back them up, every time. the direct order to do something every cop tell you is not always backed up by law, etc. when is this going to stop, when we decide we all have had enough, and WE put a stop to it, period. other then that, it will not stop, fact is, it will get worse!

  • Pat Steger

    This is my video. There’s a long story of harassment by the polcie in this county that led up to this incident. It is not the first time I have been threatened with this.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      Pat, you need to keep the camera rolling, you need to collect the evidence. Let them hang themselves. If they want to arrest you make it VERY costly to them. Make it hurt..

      • Pat Steger

        Now that they are on notice that it’s not just one person who knows their misdeeds, I will keep the camera rolling from now on. I thank you all for your efforts, this was completely unexpected when I posted it. The funny part is I was browsing this very website yesterday and that’s what inspired me to post the video.

        • Carlos_Miller

          Give us the background to this story. What happened after you turned off the camera? What made you walk up to him and ask for his name in what seemed the middle of nowhere?

          • Pat Steger

            I’d be happy to share the details in private, but as they involve my five year old son I’d rather not do so in public comments.

          • Proud GrandPa

            Carlos, this photog sounds like correspondent news gatherer material for your stable. If Pat Steger’s discription of the local gendarmarie is accurate, he should be able to provide a regular column for PINAC website: Law Enforcement in Sycamore, Illinios.
            .
            Using FOI law with Joel, you could probably discover other crimes there and earn a hefty whistleblower percentage too.

    • jcfromnj

      Pat: What are YOU planning to do about it ? They don’t have any fear or respect for you, your a perfect victim.

      • Pat Steger

        I might be filing a complaint against him today when I’m in the area. If I do, I will also be filing a complaint against his wife, also a Sycamore PD officer, who told me to “stay the fuck out of Sycamore” in a comment on the video. No matter if I do it today or another day, there WILL be a complaint filed. I have a lot going on with the corrupt system out there, so I might need to hold off to deal with the other garbage they are pulling.

        • Pat Steger

          Unfortunately, in my experience out there, when you file a complaint about on of their officers you have a warrant issued for your arrest a few days later. We have about $5000 tied up in bond from these people on various fabricated charges. One of those should go away today, but I’ve long since given up on the system out there following the law.

        • jcfromnj

          Well, I’m sort of a pro in this area, and here is my advise: The Internal Affairs process is a fairly well established procedure in every state with guideline issues from the Attorney General’s of each state: GET A COPY of the state guidelines, and READ IT. Then: You have to know exactly what area’s of the state law’s were violated.

          Get any Police reports that may have been generated. I file three certified copy’s of the IA request: One to the Local official who is designated with handling Internal Affairs, one to the County Prosecutor, the final legal authority in the chain of Command above the local PD’s, and one more copy to the Attorney General’s Office, either Civil Right’s or the Department that handles Criminal’s Complaint issues. COVER YOUR ASS with this process.

          You also need to list all the name’s of ANY officer’s involved AND the the Chief of Police for failing to properly train his Officer’s on the current state of the laws with regard to this. HE is responsible for the failure of ALL the personnel under his command to be properly trained.

          This is a game of Chess and Bluff Poker. If you want to contact me I’ll fill you in on just what’s involved here. I’ve done it, and have shown other’s how to get results, and this will work. If this were me, I’d have Shit Storm of epic proportions in the mix.

          radiofreenewjersey@hotmail.com

          • Pat Steger

            Let’s see what happens in court today…

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            I would be careful about following this advice, since it is a) inaccurate, and b) wrong.

            You have an attorney. Follow his advice.

          • jcfromnj

            Internal Affairs is purely an administrative function, go for it. Your getting advise from someone who was practiced in the art of Misrepresentation, deception, and outright lying appear to be part of a police officer’s job description, so much so that the term “testilying is now in the public vernacular….

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Your statement about Attorney General guidelines is factually incorrect. For example, in Texas, the OAG does not issue such guidelines and for that matter, does not have any jurisdiction over Internal Affairs investigations. Steger needs to follow his attorney’s advice, not some internet whackjob’s loony-toon ideas.

          • Scott Parker

            General’s
            area’s
            law’s
            Right’s
            name’s
            officer’s
            other’s

            I don’t like to be “that guy”, but you’ve got a serious apostrophe abuse issue. None of the above words needed apostrphies.

          • Proud GrandPa

            And don’t forget the word copy’s used as a plural in jcfromnj’s longer post.
            .
            Now there is still debate among informed and educated persons as to the use of possessives with inanimate objects. This is undecided.

  • Howard L. Wassinger

    Time to flood their Facebook page with outrage!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sycamore-Police-Department/138279532912035

    • Pat Steger

      The deletion of your comments has begun. :)

      • Pat Steger

        And completed.

        • Pat Steger

          And apparently, though I only really posted looking for information regarding some brutality my father suffered at the hands of the Sycamore PD I have been banned from further commenting on their Facebook page. Something tells me I should expect to be arrested by the sycamore police some time in the near future with some fabricated charge against me.

          • Peacefulstreets Lewiscounty

            Record everything. I’ve been burned as well. Now I roll video whenever I get behind the wheel.

          • Fotaugrafee

            Speaking of “behind the wheel”, can Jeff Gray (HONORYOUROATH) tell us where & what kind of dash-cam we should be looking into? I’m quite fond of this, since it seems to be the LAST thing that the cops expected in his case.

          • Pat Steger

            I actually have an old smart phone with a 720p camera in it that I’m considering turning in to a dash cam.

          • Voice-Of_Concern

            I have used this to make an old phone a dash cam. It fits phones large & small. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009GSI0MM/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

          • pete

            Drift Ghost HD. Has DVR and a car mode

          • Peacefulstreets Lewiscounty

            Perhaps start a new thread in the Tech Talk forum?

            I’ve been looking for a decent dashcam also. Unfortunately the industry is centered around the “black box” model relating to auto-accidents. While I see a lot of value in such a unit, I’ve had little luck finding anything that has a mount that I can swivel from forward to also face the driver-side window. (I believe the goPro’s will do this, however their price and lack of traditional dash-cam features leave me hesitant.)

            Until I settle on a better solution, I wear a Looxcie (bluetooth with a vid recorder) and a generic window mount for my cell phone. With a quick link for Bambuser. The Looxcie is discreet, and will record in a loop so I can run it continuously, allowing me to ignore non-eventful video. But it’s resolution isn’t as high as I’d prefer.

            Bambuser is handy to stream offsite and will continue recording while the screen is off (and locked). However the unsent data must be uploaded manually in low coverage areas.

            For higher quality I use the regular video app, and back it up via Dropbox. This affords much better video, but it doesn’t continue when the screen is off. Nor does it stream, uploading begins after recording is finished. Neither solution produces good quality at night.

            Whatever solution you decide on, I think it’s important to have a backup. In addition to both video devices, I often use another unit to record audio. If it’s legal to record in the open, I can’t see a valid challenge to surreptitiously recording audio at the same time. In case, I dinno, some LEO grabs my phone.

            Start a thread. We can’t be the only ones with questions. :)

          • jcfromnj

            Pat: What are the details of the what I have to assume is an injunction of sorts Who, What, When and Where ? Your best defense is the wide audience that you have on sites like this and others.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            It’s not an injunction. They merely blocked him through FB.

          • Pat Steger

            I don’t know what injunction you are referring to.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Pat, JC has some views that are not exactly in accordance with the law. I would not put too much faith in what he is telling you.

            You have an attorney, listen to him (or her).

            For example, I could immediately tell that you were speaking of being blocked on Facebook. He takes your same statement and believes that the city obtained an injunction prohibiting you from speaking on their FB page.

          • Pat Steger

            They merely turned off the ability for people to put posts on their facebook page due to a few people from here posting on the site.

  • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

    It has not been determined to be unconstitutional. It only applied to that one case for that county involving future incidents with aclu employees only. This did not set precendent. Carlos, I am a huge supporter of you and your work. But the law was not struck down as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court refusing to hear the case does not overturn the law. It only allowed the current decision to stand which stated the above criteria so as to allow the law to remain in effect. The supreme court would have to actually taken that case and then declared the law unconsitutional either in whole, in part or as applied to the specified case only. It is bad advice to keep stating otherwise. The law still stands for everyone else. And unless someone has the money to appeal and appeal then they can and will get prosecuted and found guilty under the law. No precedent was set for the entire state. This was pointed out before and it is in my opinion foolish to keep saying it was determined to be unconstitutional. I will still support you none the less as you continue your excellent work and regardless of any responses or follow up comments to this one. I hope that you look to find the merit in what I am saying and go forward from there. Long time Reader and will continue to look forward to upcoming articles. Thanks.
    FF

    • rick

      Wrong. SCOTUS refusal to hear appeal on lower court’s decision that Illinois wiretapping statute is ILLEGAL in cases where citizens record police in public ends the debate.
      In fact state attorneys are forbidden from enforcing the wiretapping law against anyone publicly recording the police.

      • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

        The lower courts ruling did not declare the whole law as unconstitutional. It only states that as applied to the aclu employees in cook county only the law did not apply. The Supreme Court let a lower court ruling stand, yes, but what you are not realizing is the wording of the lower courts ruling that allows the law to stand and only applies to aclu employees in cook county. It did not declare the whole law unconstitutional. They declared it that way because they knew the ACLU had the money to continue to fight, they made it a victory for the aclu but by the ruling they allowed the law to remain in effect for everyone else so they could still keep charging people with it. Go read the ruling. The ACLU even confirms this.

        • rick

          You are right. The law itself has not been overturned but it’s application in arresting citizens recording police has been.

          • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

            But applying only to employees of the ACLU

          • rick

            ACLU staff and unaffiliated citizens are considered equal under the law. The ruling applies to all.

          • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

            Read the ruling itself. That’s where many people are going wrong is they don’t read the actual ruling.

          • Kaemaril

            Are you suggesting that the law has been declared ‘unconstitutional’ ONLY for employees of the ACLU? They may have granted an injunction preventing ‘employees of the ACLU’ from being threatened with arrest, but if they’re going to concede the unconstitutionality of the law it must be considered unconstitutional for everybody. ACLU staff have no special privileges beyond those of any other citizen.

          • TheJeebus

            Except when they ignore it.

          • Fotaugrafee

            Which still doesn’t make it any less equal, it just magnifies their ignorance.

          • jcfromnj

            “Wire Tapping” as such is a meaningless concept from the 1950’s. It’s largely unenforceable as ALL electronic communications are monitored. There is NO expectation for privacy today, as anyone can intercept anything they want to with just a little effort.

        • Kaemaril

          “but what you are not realizing is the wording of the lower courts ruling that allows the law to stand and only applies to aclu employees in cook county”

          A little bit of extra googling indicates you’re a bit behind the times.

          First, the lower court DID declare the whole law unconstitutional.

          http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/show_temp.pl_.pdf

          “IT IS HEREBY DECLARED, pursuant to Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and 28 U.S.C. § 2201 that:

          The Illinois Eavesdropping Act, 720 ILCS 5/14, violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as applied to the open audio recording of the audible communications of law enforcement officers (or others whose communications are incidentally captured) when the officers are engaged in their official duties in public places.”

          That was the case that granted the ACLU’s injunction.

          That injunction has now been extended:

          http://peopleslawoffice.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Order-in-DuMelle.pdf

          “Defendant Anita Alvarez, in her official capacity as the State’s Attorney of Cook County, is permanently enjoined from enforcing the Illinois Eavesdropping Act against any person, including Plaintiff Kristopher DuMelle, who openly audio records the audible communications of law enforcement officers (or others whose communications are incidentally captured) when the officers are engaged in their official duties in public places.”

          • hazy

            The appellate court for the district that Illinois is in ruled that the state wiretapping law is unconstitutional. When the district attorney for Illinois tried to fight the injunction by asking the supreme court to review it, the supreme court denied her request. Thus the original injunction stands.

          • rick

            That attorney was on 60 Minutes last year. Foul lady wouldn’t admit that DNA from a convicted murderer/rapist found in the murder victim exonerated the teenage boys that were coerced into false confessions. These kids were incarcerated for 15+ years. Look up the Englewood Four.

            Thank god for the Innocence Project!

          • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

            But what you folks aren’t understanding is what the injunction entails. The injunction enjoins alvarez from prosecuting under the law. She only has authority in cook county, it does not enjoin anyone else. People aren’t realizing the wording of the ruling that was upheld.

        • jcfromnj

          Psycho Babble….

    • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

      Seriously, why vote this down. It’s the truth. I’m not bashing Carlos. I’m merely stating that it is invalid to say it’s been overturned, it hasn’t. The ACLU has even confirmed this. I don’t think this law should stand, but in Illinois, it’s a tricky law and it is still in effect.

    • Carlos_Miller

      When I wrote that it was “determined” unconstitutional, I did not mean to say it was “ruled” unconstitutional because my understanding was that although it is still in the books, police throughout the state were ordered not to arrest anybody on that charge.

      I will ask Mickey Osterreicher for clarification.

      • Freedom_Fighter_of_America

        http://www.aclu-il.org/development-in-aclu-v-alvarez-illinois-eavesdropping-law/

        “While a final ruling in this case will only address the work of the ACLU
        of Illinois to monitor police activity, we believe that it will have a
        ripple effect throughout the entire state. We are hopeful that we are
        moving closer to a day when no one in Illinois will risk prosecution
        when they audio record public officials performing their duties.
        Empowering individuals and organizations in this fashion will ensure
        additional transparency and oversight of public officials across the
        State.”

        They believe it will have a ripple effect, yes, but they state it only applies to the ACLU and they are hoping to one day get a permanent injunction against the law and hope that one day no one will have to risk prosecution under the law. My intentions are not to belittle anyone. I just want people to know that they can still be prosecuted for the law. I don’t want someone to mistakenly believe that it was ruled unconstitutional and end up in a huge felony legal battle over it. That is all.

        • Carlos_Miller

          I’m not taking your comments as belittling.

        • Kaemaril

          Sorry, I’m confused. How can it be that only the ACLU are exempt from this law? If the state conceded that it would be perfectly legal for the ACLU to record them, thus permitting the injunction, then surely it must apply to everybody equally? If they argue that it would not be legal for the ACLU to record them, then the injunction should not be permitted. You can’t have it both ways. The ACLU has no special standing. Isn’t that what the ‘ripple effect’ above is about? If the state concedes that the ACLU should be entitled to ‘monitor’ police activity in this way without threat of prosecution then there is surely no legal argument that can be made that that exemption applies only to the rule of law. If it’s unconstitutional for the ACLU it’s unconstitutional for everybody.

          • jcfromnj

            ACLU:You fellows are self-serving and deal with Political Correctness ONLY when it suits your agenda. I WAS a member in New Jersey until I saw the light. Your assessment of the ruling needs to examined. I never heard of private law just for the ACLU ??

        • Carlos_Miller

          Here is Mickey’s response, who has personally been trying to get this law struck down over the last few years:

          “Really busy today. Please see this link for further clarification.

          http://www.aclu-il.org/development-in-aclu-v-alvarez-illinois-eavesdropping-law/

          While the actual 7th Circuit ruling only impacts on Cook County the de facto effect is that the state law would probably never be upheld in any other 7th Circuit jurisdiction including IL and WI.”

        • Fotaugrafee

          I don’t think you can be prosecuted by this law, and I’m not reading it as such. As I’m reading it, they’re “addressing” the ACLU, not as if it applies any less to other citizens who encounter this. In addition, while you say they might charge you with wiretapping, but that’s essentially not gonna hold any water in court, as their ruling reads.

    • Fotaugrafee

      What the fuck are you talking about. Wiretapping is a completely different charge than “video/audio recording in public. Wiretapping is also recording NOT without one’s consent in public (b/c they have no reasonable expectation of privacy set forth in the 1st Amendment), but recording in a private situation where consent would even be required in the first place!!!

    • hazy

      It was nice of you to play the devil’s advocate here, but you are wrong in your analysis on this. When the district appellate court has granted an injunction and states the law is unconstitutional and the supreme court refuses to review the case that means the appellate ruling stands. Until that ruling is overturned in a higher court, that is an effective quashing of the law at the appellate level.

  • Pat Steger

    I have recently set up a fundraising site in relation to the harassment that is happening with the police in this county. There is a small amount of additional information on this site. I apologize if posting this link is deemed inappropriate. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/team-nevyn/x/5201520

  • Pat Steger

    Long story short: I was walking down the road to cool off after an unfavorable court decision regarding my son. After a while this officer appeared behind me at some distance. I approached the officer with my camera up and asked him why he was following me. He claimed he was not, even though e was clearly pacing behind me in his car. I meant to record this exchange, but I forgot to switch my camera in to camcorder mode so all I did was snap a picture at the very start. The officer was aware of me holding my camera up the entire time and never said a word about it. I continued walking down the road and he continued to follow me, which led to the video above.

    When the camera was shut off, the officer refused to let me leave, claiming he had to serve me some paper. I was detained for 30-45 minutes while they had this “paperwork” brought to me. 5 Sycamore PD officers attempted to intimidate and strong arm both myself and my father, initiating physical contact and they threatening US for taking exception to being touched.

    Eventually a Dekalb County car showed up to “serve” me with paperwork that had already been served in the courthouse to my lawyer. We then left the area. My father has apparently been ticketed for “squealing tires” as we left the scene, though he has received no paperwork to this effect.

    Most of the problems I’ve had out there center around the Dekalb County Police, it’s only recently that the Sycamore PD has decided to reinsert itself into the farce.

    As my lawyer puts it, we have a “multi-million dollar lawsuit” against the various agencies out there. Unfortunately this takes time and money. Time we have, money we are running out of.

  • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

    The argument below is entertaining, but unnecessary.

    The statute (720 ILCS 5/14-2) is unconstitutional, see People v. Melongo, 2012 WL 8016610 (Ill. Cir. Ct. July 26, 2012).

    “The federal courts have declared the Act unconstitutional, and public officials have conceded the point, announcing publicly that they will not enforce it.” Frobe v. Vill. of Lindenhurst, 11 C 1722, 2013 WL 5433512 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 30, 2013).

  • Pat Steger

    Another tidbit of information: Some time ago a man was recording my father in a public place. My father made it clear that the man did not have his permission to record. When the man continued to record, my father removed the phone from the other man’s possession. The other man called the police who proceeded to tell both parties that they had both committed crimes. My father misdemeanor battery for taking the phone, and the other man felony eavesdropping for recording without permission. Both parties decided to not press charges as long as the other also agreed.

    The next day, the other party phoned up the state’s attorney who told him to make a complaint because they would not prosecute him on the eavesdropping. My father was then charged with the battery from that night, and the police refused to even take my father’s report. This is the incident I referred to in the video.

    • Daniel Wood

      Um….yeah….your dad broke the law in that instance, not the guy recording. If somebody tried to take my phone from me when I was recording in public I would defend myself and my property by any means necessary.

      • Pat Steger

        Not going to argue that what my father did was right. Was just pointing out that, depending on which story suits them at the time, the police change their story as to if recording is legal or illegal.

        • Guest

          I think that what your father did is less wrong. The police are public officials that are supposedly educated in the law, and swore an oath to uphold it, and the Constitution. I cut these traitors no slack when they thuggishly violate people’s rights.

          • Wandering_Bard

            Taking another person’s property is still wrong.

            Whether the man recording was filming a public official, or a private citizen, the fact remains that -if it occurred in a public place with no reasonable expectation of privacy- he was not doing anything illegal.

          • Guest

            I agree. I didn’t say that it wasn’t wrong. I said that I think that it’s less wrong than when the police do it.

          • Wandering_Bard

            I understand where you’re coming from, but I still disagree.

            Placing your hands on a person or their property in an unwanted or aggressive manner is never acceptable, unless you are defending yourself, your family, or your own property from harm.

            This is wrong whether you are a public servant, or a private citizen.

          • Guest

            You keep saying you disagree with me. But then what you write seems to agree with me. I didn’t say it was acceptable. I didn’t say it wasn’t wrong. I’m making a distinction of degree. Unless you think that a crime committed by a person that swore an oath and has been given power by the public is of exactly equal wrongness as someone who hasn’t.

          • Wandering_Bard

            That’s exactly what I’m saying.

            Equal protection under the law also means equal accountability under the law.

            Just because a person is a private citizen doesn’t make it “less wrong”.

    • BC MotoGuy

      how ironic that it all started with a photography crime by your father… srsly?

      • Pat Steger

        Nah, that’s not how it started. This video is just a recent incident in a long history of police abuse.

    • TheJeebus

      Your father broke the law. He forcibly took another man’s property.

  • illinois patriot

    They’re deleting facebook posts as soon as you put them up…..lol

    • TheJeebus

      Who are “they”?

      • Pat Steger

        Whoever runs the Sycamore police department Facebook page.

        • Peacefulstreets Lewiscounty

          A PD’s page is considered a public forum.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Do you have any statute or case law to support that?

          • Peacefulstreets Lewiscounty

            Nothing handy. I don’t think it’s been specifically tested yet, and suspect that the law, as usual, is far behind the technology. The most recent mention I remember of this was regarding Brevard County’s Sherriff’s department Facebook page & Jeff Grey’s arrest.. After numerous post deletions and challenges citing that it is a public forum, posts were restored.

            From my own brief research, it appears that the Public Forum Doctrine would be most applicable.

            ps: I did find one case challenging, but haven’t found it’s resolution yet.

            http://www.necn.com/08/22/12/Gun-group-sues-Honolulu-police-over-Face/landing_politics.html?&apID=0fcf663519b840bca0adf5efd2114bee

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Yet I’m sure that the city would argue that it is for government speech, not for a public forum.

            Without a statute or case law, it would be impossible to make a prior restraint charge stick.

          • Peacefulstreets Lewiscounty

            While I agree it would be an uphill fight, particularly in a smaller, tight-knit community, a review of their postings does show some comments from the public and a few replys to those comments.

            I think it could be successfully argued that the back & forth discourse establishes the page as a public forum. Further, while perhaps not binding, their own “facebook policy” states twice that postings are subject to public disclosure. If they are retaining the right to disclose said information to the public, then it must also be protected as public information.

            I agree that case law would be very helpful. I’ll link any I find.

          • Peacefulstreets Lewiscounty

            Well I had a well cited reply that it appears Discus has eaten…

            I reviewed the Brevard County Sheriff Dept’s FB page. Most of their posts are informational announcements. But some have back & forth dialog. Under the Public Forum Doctrine, it can be argued that these dialogs establish the FB page as a public forum.

            Further, in the page’s “posting policy”, it’s stated (twice) that any posts are subject to public disclosure. If posts are so subject, doesn’t it also follow that they should also benefit from protections afforded to public information?

            My previous post was more eloquent, and I agree that established case law would be very useful. I’m curious of your more legally learned opinion.

    • Pat Steger

      And now they’ve turned off the ability for other people to post on the page.

  • TheJeebus

    Since he knows he’s being recorded, by continuing to talk he’s consenting. It’s not eavesdropping if you know it’s happening.

  • John Kruzelock

    You lost your chance at big bucks dummy.

  • Fotaugrafee

    Well, he did mention something about “harassing me again”, so there’s gotta be a backstory to this.

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      “so there’s gotta be a backstory to this….”

      LOL. Yeah, there is.

      I imagine if the police could have arrested him that day, they would have. He’s well-known to them.

      • Pat Steger

        Yes, there is a history of fabricated charges. All recent, and all complete horse shit. We’r in court tomorrow to have the felony thrown out.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          So you say.

          Your FB and Twiter rants don’t exactly help your credibility.

          • Pat Steger

            There’s only so far a person can be pushed before he starts pushing back. :)

      • Fotaugrafee

        Apparently, and they didn’t. So they know as well as we do, that this wiretapping bullshit isn’t going to fly in court, and they’re going to get their pee-pee smacked if it makes it that far again.

    • Pat Steger

      The “again” part referrers to the fact that the recorded incident was the second time I was approaching him to ask why he was following me. I attempted to record that exchange as well but I hit the wrong button on my phone.

  • Fotaugrafee

    Sycamore is located about 50 miles due west of downtown Chicago.

  • Greg Cox

    Your father assaulted someone and stole their property. He should have received a good beating just like a purse snatcher. You don’t have to ‘give permission’ to be recorded in a public space.
    On a related note, fuck the police. Record them motherfuckers all day every day. Like they LOOOOVE to say, ‘If you’ve got nothing to hide…’

  • gmo2ashes

    Of greater interest (far greater than the exchange between these 2 idiots) are the toxic GMO cornfields seen in the background. Someone should throw a match in there.

  • Josef Roesler

    How did this play out when you went to the Chief with this recording? Or in court, you did file a lawsuit, correct? How’s that going? Oh wait, you didn’t do anything and all you wanted to do was be sensational on the internet? That’s what I thought.

    • Pat Steger

      I haven’t reported it just yet, I have other issues to deal with in this corrupt county. I posted the video on Youtube, I did not contact this website. While some attention to my problem is nice, I did not seek it out.

      • Josef Roesler

        So it was more important to you to post this on YT than is was to take a few minutes and report it. Exactly. By putting it on YT, all you were doing was seeking attention.

        • Pat Steger

          I can see you’re only interested in arguing and name calling. Enjoy your time on the site.

          • Josef Roesler

            Damn, what a crybaby. No wonder you can’t deal with the police. What name did I call you? What I am interested in is your hypocrisy. You want to start shit with the police and prove how rotten they are, but when given the opportunity, you merely take the YouTube sensation route. You are not actually trying to solve anything.

          • Pat Steger

            Yes yes, we’re all impressed with your unwarranted hostility. Shine on you crazy diamond!

          • Josef Roesler

            What did I say that was hostile other than pointing out you’re a crybaby? You’re getting the attention you wanted now, what’s the problem?

      • jcfromnj

        Pat: Your just making it easy for the PoPo to roll up the next next victim and back them down. You need to get busy or not get involved in this sort of thing…

  • jcfromnj

    Weak response bro….you caved in even when you were in the right. This is no game for amateurs, need to ramp up your game plan. He should have gone to the Police station, confronted the Chief, and taken the issue up with everyone in the chain of command….

  • Frank Talk

    Comments on FB all deleted and the commenting function disabled. Babies.

  • Filthy cop

    “police” are unconstitutional, espeacially punks like this one

  • Proud GrandPa

    Pat Steger,
    Do you have several friends who can record you as you record? The cops will no censor or capture all of their evidence.
    .
    You can upload videos to the web instantly and can also carry additional A-V devices in case a cop takes the obvious one. Your lawyer will thank you.
    .
    And are you currently working to any news website as a photojournalist? You can. You would be good because you care and are motivated.
    .
    Perhaps our posters here in PINAC will have some suggestions.

    • BusPass

      When you said “will no sensor,” did you mean “will not sensor?”

      What does it mean to be “currently working to any news site?” Or did you mean working FOR any news site?

      What was the insult I saw you leveling at other forum participants? Something about “inferior education” because of their grammatical errors?

      What are the “uninitiated” supposed to take from your incoherent sentences?

  • Pat Steger

    For anybody that is curious, I just left the Sycamore PD after filing a complaint against this officer and the chief for failing to properly train him.

  • Pat Steger

    I guess posting this from my phone didn’t actually work so here goes again.

    I just got home from filing a formal complaint against the officer and the chief for failing to properly train the officer. Let’s see when I catch a warrant for that…

  • Benghazi Barack

    I dont think suing police officers individually is going to do anything. Locally we had two thug police officers who were sued individually, lost and were ordered to pay thousands in dollars. They are still on the force and one was caught again engaging in abuse. My best guess is that if you are in a police union, you can buy liability insurance.

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Actually, in most jurisdictions they are indemnified by the city/county/state they work for, so the taxpayers pay the judgment.

  • Steve

    Please, for the love of God please STOP posting videos where weak willed citizens obey the goons in the costumes! He is NOT have to put the camera down and it makes me sick to see it. Does more harm than good

  • Pat Steger

    lol…

    “This is to notify you that we have received a privacy complaint from an individual regarding your content:

    Video URLs: http://youtube.com/watch?v=-yhD4CsOQeQ
    The
    information reported as violating privacy is at 0_00

    The complaint will
    be reviewed by the YouTube Team and may be removed
    pursuant to our Privacy
    Guidelines. For more information, please review our
    Privacy Guidelines http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy_guidelines.”

  • Bill Rookard

    “Stop recording, or I’m going to charge you with a felony”.

    Felony what? Felony describes the level of the charge, but no charge is being specified. That cop needs to find a new job because he clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing.

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