One of the pictures that got photographer Jason C. Romero frisked in Champaign, Illinois

An Illinois photographer who was being harassed for taking photos of smokestacks ended up getting frisked because he placed his hands inside his pockets.

Jason C. Romero said an Officer Garcia whirled him around, forced his hands behind his back and spread his legs before emptying Romero’s pockets, which was a huge violation of his Constitutional rights considering all he was doing was taking photos.

Garcia ended up pulling Romero’s iPhone out of his pocket, which was set to record audio, and told him that it was illegal for him to record their conversation.

That is a lie.

Romero told him he was recording the conversation for his own protection, but it turned out, the recorder was not actually turned on.

But even it had been turned on, it would not have been illegal. Police in recent years have used the illegal wiretapping law to arrest people who are recording them on audio or video, only for those cases to be thrown out of court.

The illegal wiretap charge mainly applies to phone conversations where people have an expectation of privacy.

Speaking of which, the officer ended up reading through Romero’s notes and notebooks, which he had no right to do because Romero did not give him a reasonable suspicion.

Two more officers pulled up, giving Romero the old line about how “in this day and age” anybody with a camera is considered armed and dangerous with terrorist intentions.

Via Discarted