The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. It details an interaction a man in Peoria, IL. had with the police there while he was out videotaping and taking photos.
From the dialogue in the video, the person being harassed by members of the Peoria Police Department for something that is completely legal appears to be only visiting the city and apparently lives elsewhere.
Along with the video and the description included below the person submitting it stated:
This needs to be posted and reshared as much as possible to expose the conduct and actions of these Peoria Officers as they are absolutely sickening. This video is a testament to everything that is wrong with the American Police force today, evidence of the blatant disregard to their oath as police officers, and a clear abuse of their color of authority!
Officer Grow (Badge #877) admits the citizen filming and photographing from a public sidewalk has committed no crime, violates the rules of Terry Stop by demanding ID while saying no crime was committed, then threatens to make a false charge of “Disorderly Conduct” against the citizen for simply exercising his right to refuse to ID that’s derived from an illegal order, then 3-4 other officers show up (including a Sgt.) threatening the citizen with additional false charges, supporting and continuing the illegal actions of Officer Grow like a state sanctioned street gang, all refusing to identify themselves.
Officer Grow committing assault and battery on the citizen by grabbing his camera, violating the citizens 1st Amendment right by Prior Restraint, and then the other officers yelling, “we are not afraid of YouTube” when the citizen stated his intentions to post the video online to show their completely inappropriate and illegal behavior that is a huge example of the current atmosphere and attitude within law enforcement agencies around the United States today.
This video needs to be shared as many times and possible and people should be writing in to complain about these officers actions and conduct to every form of civil government in Peoria, IL.
I’ll add one small clarification to what was said in the video itself. In order to detain someone they don’t actually have to have committed a crime. A police officer has to have reasonable suspicion that they have or were about to do so, which allows them to detain them and investigate if that is in fact the case. Even if a cop decides they want to find out why someone might be walking around a police station, that act alone is not a reasonable suspicion to detain someone. It does not give the police the ability to demand, nor does it create a requirement for someone to give that ID to an officer.
It also does not give police the right to order someone off of public property. Nor does simply standing or walking on a sidewalk constitute “disorderly conduct.” Additionally, there is no requirement for people to stay in motion at all times when they are on a sidewalk. The simple fact that someone is standing on a sidewalk does not, in and of itself, obstruct the movement of others. In spite of what cops often (the keep moving thing is a pretty common thing at protests) try to say in order to be guilty of something you have to actually do that thing or at the very least display some intent to do so. The possibility that something might happen isn’t sufficient justification to restrict someone’s rights.
Also, obviously, filming a cop (or anyone else) in public is not a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. In fact, by assaulting the man that was filming in order to cover his camera, Officer Grow is violating a pretty well documented First Amendment right.
Date of Incident: May 5, 2016
Officers Involved: Officer Grow (Badge #877), Officer Stratten, and two additional officers that refused to ID themselves.
Department Involved: Peoria (IL) Police Department
Contact Numbers: Daytime (309) 494-8318; After Hours (309) 673-4521
Facebook Page: Peoria Police Department
Twitter Account: Peoria PD
Chief Jerry Mitchell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Asst. Chief Lisa Snow: email@example.com
Mayor Jim Ardis: JArdis@peoriagov.org
Address: 600 SW Adams Street, Peoria, IL 61602
This citizen is standing on the street using a video camera in public on a public sidewalk, which is not illegal! Then Officer Grow ( badge #877) begins an illegal detention. When asked if the citizen had committed a crime, Grow admits that he hasn’t, which at that point violates the rules of a Terry Stop. Unless a officer has a reasonable articulable suspicion that a person is committing, is about to commit, or has committed a crime, THEY ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE ID TO OFFICERS!
Then when the citizen simply exercises his right not to ID himself, the officer gets visibly upset and says that the citizen is going to be charged with “Disorderly Conduct” for simply exercising his rights AFTER Officer Grow ADMITTED HE WAS COMMITTING NO CRIME!
Then what happens next is another prime example of what’s wrong with the Police system today. You know how people are always saying that not all cops are bad? The other 95% are good cops? Apparently the full 5% were all in this video. None of the other officers called out Officer Grow for his inappropriate conduct, and in fact, went along with his inappropriate behavior by trying to intimidate and threaten the citizen with false charges, simply because the citizen challenged their authority.
Officer Grow then began assaulting the citizen by grabbing the lens of his camera and continuing to threaten the citizen. And all the officers go along with this while being recorded and stating, “We’re not afraid of YouTube.”
This is the problem with our police forces today and why people need to stop just constantly excusing the actions of cops like this! If you allow cops like this to constantly intimidate citizens; threaten them with arrest, possible assault, and death, for doing nothing more than simply walking down the street (and remember that the officer started the whole thing by ADMITTING THAT HE COMMITTED NO CRIME), then you’re giving your rights away at every moment and the police know that there will be no accountability held to them.
They even admit they don’t care if they are viewed on YouTube with this behavior! This is the reason that innocent people are getting killed for no reason, we end up with movements like Black Lives Matter, and people that don’t have the resources to defend themselves against bogus charges end up spending years in jail while cops like these go around threatening, imprisonment, and/or killing innocent people with no consequences because they know they can get away with it. No other cops will hold another cop accountable and they eventually are nothing more than a state sanctioned street gang.
All the officers in this video should be IMMEDIATELY FIRED, especially Officer Grow, because it’s only a matter of time before someone ends up being assaulted or killed by these men, if has not already happened. People need to wake up and make sure that cops like this are exposed for the thugs that they are and chased out of any public service that allows them to make life and death decisions.
If you watch this video and are not immediately outraged by these officers conduct and actions, you are complicit in the creation of a system that at any time can choose to ignore your civil rights and potentially deprive you of your life and liberty at any moment. This is exactly the same kind of bullshit that British soldiers did to American colonists and that ended up starting the revolution. This is why the Founding Fathers created a Bill of Rights.
It’s time for people to start realizing that by allowing thugs like this to exist in our police forces, holding them to ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY, and supporting actions like these, will eventually lead to them victimizing you or someone close to you.