Imagine a town where restrictions on protest signs, unlimited mayoral power to deputize anyone in the service of maintaining order and unbridled use of surveillance without any protection or oversight is common. This town is also run by a police force which is illegal to record while engaged in its duties and that may willfully deny anyone free speech without any reasonable cause.
Chilling. Sounds like something out of a Cold War drama set in Soviet Russia.
But it isn’t. This is Chicago.
While you might think I mean the Chicago of 1968 (a town firmly under the jackboot heel of King Daley I, a gruesome thug that deserved imprisonment for his crimes against the citizenry of Chicago, but instead had a civic center named after him), you would be wrong. Chicago’s dreadful treatment of civil liberties continues on, and it is safe to say that in the beginning of 2012 it is alive and well.
Several days ago a police officer arrested NBC reporter Dan Ponce and photographer Donte Williams for not leaving a median strip across the street from a hospital. The men were only briefly held and no charges were ultimately levied against them
So, in short the CPD did this in a gross violation of the right to free speech. One officer, who was recorded by the news crew, was angry that his entirely illegal assault on free speech was not shown the proper amount of respect. Check it out.