Illinois cops pulled a car over for speeding, then dragged a man out of the back seat because he would not stop recording.
Dolton police then forced Steven S. Sinnot facedown on the street and handcuffed him, telling him, he should “learn how to listen.”
“I just had my hands where he could see them,” Sinnott says as he was being dragged out as you can see in the video below.
“I didn’t move or nothing. I don’t consent to no search,” he continues.
“Shut the fuck up!” said the cop named Doiley who dragged him out.
The camera then turns off but Sinnott said he was left laying facedown on the street for almost ten minutes before he was transported to the police department and handcuffed to a wall.
He was told he was being charged with disorderly conduct, which is one of those contempt-of-cop charges they use against people who have broken no law.
It was not until one of the officers realized that he had worked with Sinnott’s mother in the past as a security guard that they released him with a disorderly conduct summons.
Not only does his mother work in security, two of Sinnott’s brothers are police officers in Illinois. And his father is in the military.
That is why he did not hesitate to exercise his right to record as well as his right to remain silent.
This is a man who knows his rights.
The incident took place on April 17, 2016 when a Dolton cop named Gutierrez pulled Sinnott’s friend over for driving a few miles over the speed limit.
Dolton is a suburb of Chicago that was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2013, so obviously they have resorted to aggressive police tactics to generate revenue.
“The speed zone is 25 mph there and he was driving a little over that, but he was not driving 50,” Sinnott said.
But Gutierrez was not just content in writing a speeding ticket and be on his way. He wanted to find something he could arrest them on.
“Is there anything in the car we should know about,” Gutierrez kept asking.
The driver told him no but the cop kept directing his question at Sinnott, who remained silent.
He then asked to search the car, but the driver told him he did not have probable cause to search it.
Sinnott said he was holding his right hand up near his head and was holding the phone with his left hand, pointing it at the officer, who was to his left.
But the cop, who had already ordered a man in the passenger seat to put his phone down, kept ordering Sinnott to put his phone down.
“Why? Because if I drop the phone, he’s going to say I’m reaching for something else,” Sinnott said.
But Gutierrez became more aggressive once a few more backup officers arrived.
“I told you to drop the phone and put your hands behind the car seat,” he ordered.
“I SAID PUT THE PHONE DOWN AND PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE SEAT!” he repeated.
But when Sinnott continued recording, Gutierrez ordered his backup officers to pull him out of the car.
“I wasn’t trying to make their job harder at all,” he said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Friday.
“I was trying to stand up for my rights.”
Sinnott said he filed a complaint with the Dolton Police Department and they were supposed to respond to him with all the names of the officers involved, but they have not responded.
The Dolton Police Department can be reached at (708) 841-2533.
Sinnott said he has reached out to lawyers but has received no response, so if any Illinois attorney would like to take his case, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward him the message.
He has a hearing scheduled within two weeks.