Home / PINAC News / Illinois Deputy Threatens to Arrest Man for Video Recording him in Public

Illinois Deputy Threatens to Arrest Man for Video Recording him in Public

A Cook County sheriff’s deputy who kept referring to his more than two decades of law enforcement experience did his best to intimidate a citizen from recording him, even to the point of pulling out his handcuffs and ordering the man to turn around.

But when the man and his female companion insisted on knowing what law was being broken, the deputy started spouting out lies.

“You cannot record a police officer in the services of his duty, this is a court order, ok, so turn it off,” said the deputy, who remains unidentified at this point.

But that law no longer exists in Illinois.

However, the deputy apparently knew he was making it up as he went along because he didn’t follow through on his threat of arrest, even though the video lasted more than five minutes.

“You don’t know the law, I can confiscate your phone if I want to,” the deputy said.

“Put the phone away, sir … you know I can arrest you for taking pictures of me right now.”

“What are you going to arrest me for?” the man asks at one point in the video.

“Because you’re being an asshole now,” the deputy responds.

In other words, the man with the camera was guilty of contempt-of-cop, which is not illegal but always liable to land you in jail.

“Do you want me to record you while you’re doing something? I’m recording you right now,” the deputy eventually admits.

The deputy also threatened to incarcerate the man for up to 48 hours for refusing to identify himself, but the law in Illinois, like the law in many states, requires the officer to have a reasonable suspicion that the person committed a crime in order to be able to arrest somebody for refusing to identify.

(725 ILCS 5/107-14) (from Ch. 38, par. 107-14) 
    Sec. 107-14. Temporary questioning without arrest. A peace officer, after having identified himself as a peace officer, may stop any person in a public place for a reasonable period of time when the officer reasonably infers from the circumstances that the person is committing, is about to commit or has committed an offense as defined in Section 102-15 of this Code, and may demand the name and address of the person and an explanation of his actions. Such detention and temporary questioning will be conducted in the vicinity of where the person was stopped. 
(Source: Laws 1968, p. 218.)

Here are some phone numbers for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office website.

Cook County Sheriff’s Office
50 W. Washington
Chicago, Illinois  60602
(312) 603-6444

Questions? The answers may be here:
Frequently Asked Questions

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Cook County Sheriff’s Police: (708)-865-4700
Non-Emergency (847) 635-1188
Desk Officer (708) 865-4790

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.