Police Harassment of Handicapped Man in Illinois Over Use of Sidewalks
The above video and the following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Mitchell Watkins, via the CopBlock.org Submission Page.
The video embedded above and other videos contained on his Youtube channel, as well as this post, show the issues Mitchell has had with police and city officials within the community in which he lives.
Seemingly, based on the content of his videos, the municipalities where he commonly travels have inadequate sidewalks for him to ride his mobility scooter on. Yet, when he rides outside of the designated sidewalk he finds himself being harassed by the local police for doing so.
Obviously, due to the limitations in movement his severe disability causes, this creates a hardship for him and is a source of frustration and anger. Instead of understanding that and attempting to alleviate those problems, those members of law enforcement and other city officials either act dismissive or hostile toward him when he complains.
As one can imagine, this doesn’t sit well with him and that is the reason he keeps a camera attached to his scooter and why he created his YouTube channel. (It is, of course, a good idea to always Film The Police, regardless.)
Date of Incident: July 3, 2016
Department Involved: Alsip Police Department
Department Phone No.: (708) 385-6902
I’m handicapped. I have undergone a double hip replacement, had both knees replaced, and my right ankle is useless. As a result, I ride a three-wheeled mobility cart. Police all over the place that see me always want to pull me off the street or sidewalk and inform me that I’m improperly operating my cart (In the process wasting the battery, which I need to get me places because when the battery dies I can’t walk).
They assume I’m just riding for fun and I’m not “handicapped enough.” After treating me like garbage and then later realizing I’m actually handicapped, they continue to either try to invent a problem and/or flip it on me to where I was illegally using a mobility cart.
Then they try to justify some reason to continue to be rude to me, as I do to them in return for doing that to me. I realize that my temper reaches a high also, but in all honesty I’m tired of getting stopped for no reason so much and then it getting turned around on me as if I’m an asshole.
If they would stop pulling me over then we would not have an issue. The police start it and then try to make it worse. There are multiple videos of them doing it and playing games on my YouTube channel above. I also go to town meetings where they do the same and try to justify that since I have problems in multiple places it must be me causing them.
In the Alsip video (my first day owning the cart riding at night with head light, but no tail light, which I installed the next day, but I could not make a taillight on the street) three officers try anything they can to create a reason to cite me. Months later, the town I reside in also does it to me when I’m going to get milk.
Afterwards, I tried to file a simple complaint report to stop it from happening again and recorded the following videos of adult cops playing games so they can avoid one of there own from getting what he deserves. As a result of their games, I started to follow and record them. Then they continued to act condescendingly to me by telling me they know people that have lost legs who could still walk and things like that, etc.
The videos explain everything. I have not gotten any charges ever. They have no reason for what they do and my channel explains it all and shows how crooked the towns around me really are. I am now hated by the police forces, fire fighters, and neighbors for riding a mobility scooter. Am I the crazy one here?
– Mitchell Watkins