Steelworker: Officers Beat Me For Videotaping Them

CHICAGO (CBS) — An African-American steel worker says Chicago Police officers beat him up before arresting him for videotaping them last summer, and he has footage to prove it.

Tyrone Gillett, 29, has filed a lawsuit in connection with the Aug. 3 incident. He claims police beat and arrested him for filming officers near State and Madison streets downtown.

The civil rights lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court, and names officers David Zacek, M. Rosciani, Sgt. Thompson and “other unknown officers.” Courthouse News reports the lawsuit claims Gillett had gathered with other onlookers to watch a disturbance involving police, and began videotaping the incident with his cell phone.

The lawsuit claims that Sgt. Thompson first came up to a white man who was recording the police activity on his cell phone, and politely asked him to stop, Courthouse News reported.

But Gillett says the sergeant then came up to him and “physically assaulted him, grabbed his phone, swore at him, pulled and dragged him to the hood of a police car, kneed and kicked him, and then handcuffed him,” Courthouse News reported.

The videotape shows a sergeant telling Gillett to “take a hike,” then putting his hand over the lens of the camera as Gillett is ordered to place his hands on a police car.

Gillett was originally arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. Those charges were later dropped.

Making a recording that captures audio of police officers doing their jobs in public is illegal under state law. Under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, someone who records a police officer, prosecutor or any other member of the law enforcement community without his or her permission can be charged with a Class 1 felony.

In the past, police Supt. Garry McCarthy has said he supports letting the public videotape officers, but he has not commented specifically on the Gillett incident.

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police is against all taping of officers, saying recordings will impede their investigative powers.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) is sponsoring a bill that would eliminate the part of the act that now forbids recording police officers.

  • Afro

    Explain to me how recording voice impedes anything, oh nevermind it’s CPD LOL. Chicago is like Satan’s Hell

    • Mike

      I think the concern is, people will use audio or video out of context. The Rodney King arrest was a perfect example of that. The video made it appear as though King was beaten unjustly, when in reality, he was a notorious negro that had resisted arrest and assaulted officers. In the end, the court proceedings proved that he got exactly what he deserved. Look at the criminal unrest that came from the Afro-American community afterwards. It’s just not worth the risk!

  • Afro

    Just thought this needs to be out in the open HERE IS WHERE THE TAXES GO.

    Posted by Jon McClellan (Diary)

    Thursday, February 9th at 11:30AM EST
    Recommenders: Viet71 (Diary)

    It broke yesterday that Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago wrote a $399,950 check to the 2nd Amendment Foundation for the City of Chicago violating our right to keep and bear arms. The $399,950 check was reimbursement for legal fess incurred by the 2nd Amendment Foundation while fighting and winning the McDonald v. Chicago case before the United States Supreme Court.

    It turns out that now the 2nd Amendment Foundation will lead the appeal of a U.S. District Court decision that upheld the State of Illinois’s ban on legally carrying a concealed weapon. Thanks to Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago now the 2nd Amendment Foundation has even more funds to help fight this key case defending our right to keep and bear arms.

    Illinois is the only state in the union that outright bans a law abiding citizen from carrying a concealed weapon. Below is a map that lays out the varied laws of the states regarding concealed carry. Before carrying in another state do your own research on the laws of the land.

  • Pamala E.

    Unfortunately, now that people always have cameras available to them because of cellphones they will often record things for reasons they aren’t even sure of. I was standing outside, at the door of a complainant, with another officer waiting to get in. I looked up at a window across the courtyard and discovered someone taping us. It’s ridiculous. I have no desire to end up on You Tube. Another time a man was complaining about a parking ticket I issued and during the conversation he whipped out his cellphone and began recording. Sometimes, I think that citizens are attempting to intimidate officers with that behavior but the ticket was already issued. I gave my reasons for issuing it, informed he was free to contest it and moved on. Nothing changed because he was recording me. Others times I think citizens hope an officer will get angry.

  • Ed.

    Officers are less likely to abuse their powers or break the law if they are being video taped.

    • Pamala E.

      Apparently that’s not true, hence this article.

  • TuffEnuff

    Illinois is turning into a Nazi police state. They just want us to be compliant little cows that they can milk for tax money, fees and fines. Cook county is the worst, they are driving businesses away and taxing the residents to death. 200 new laws were passed on jan 1, 2012….TWO HUNDRED!! Sure, some of them may be good laws…but, many of them were passed to give our state and local governments MORE control and more reasons to milk us. *I* will never stop from video taping the police if I think they are doing something wrong. The government should FEAR *US*… not the other way around. Thomas Jefferson would agree… just look it up, while you still have the freedom to do so.

  • bbridge4th

    Yet it’s okay for citizens to be videotaped wherever they go in Chicago.

  • Just Axin

    I saw this POS on the news. Of course, he didn’t mention that when the cop told him he was breaking the law, this mope resisted and talked back. When the cop told the white guy to stop, the man obeyed. Typical black, belligerent behavior. When they get called on it, the cry like babies. Same thing whether you’re in the movies and they won’t shut up or on the CTA and they’re talking loud on their cell or singing. They know they’re being disruptive and they DARE people to call them on it. Good job white attorney representing him looking to bring in a few bucks-another parasite. Steelworker? Yeah right.

    • THEE Yard Ape

      @Just Axin – as always my friend, you are correct!!! Just another shine with a sheeny lawyer looking to win the “ghetto lottery”!!!

  • juju

    You are so right. Hey, looks like Cheetos on your big forehead. Go have your sister/mother wash it off. Are you still living under the stairs? Maybe you should get a job as a fluffer. More later.

    • Jim


  • not from south of I80-

    Pam Pam Pam RODNEY KING BEATING Oh ! I forgot your an officer . You will never see it the way WE do.

    • THEE Yard Ape

      Give me a break!!!! Brother Rodney got EXACTLY what he deserved!!!! Take a good long hard look at what these ni @@ er savages are capable of. My memory – the white truck driver getting dragged out and having his skull crushed my some shine!!!! The mistake the cops made with King is that they didn’t just shoot him. Just wait for the day (and it’s coming sooner than you think) when these simians are rioting in the streets HERE, you will hope that some cop will be willing to beat someone down to save your @ ss!!!

  • Mark

    These problems are the result of liberals like obama and holder. Vote them out.

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