Chicago, IL — After recording a video of plainclothes officers harassing him for ordering a Lyft ride at the airport, a YouTube user was ordered out of the car and had his cellphone confiscated in a failed attempt to delete the video. Although the Lyft driver pleaded with the cops not to impound his vehicle because he could not afford the fees, the officer sadistically punished the driver after blaming the passenger for recording him.
According to a YouTube user who wishes to remain anonymous, he flew into Chicago O’Hare on the evening of September 2 after a long business trip and ordered a Lyft. As he waited for his ride, two plainclothes cops confronted him for standing on the side of the road. Assuming they were airport security, he lied to them and told the cops that his girlfriend was picking him up soon.
After he reportedly asked them if it was illegal to stand on the side of the road, they lied and told him it was illegal. When his Lyft driver arrived, he placed his luggage in the car and bid the officers a good night. Instead of letting a tired man go home, the officers followed their car before pulling them over and accusing the passenger of lying to them.
“The male officer (Michael Orlando Badge #5594), approached the driver side window as the female officer stayed out of sight (Jamie Gillardo badge # 9431),” the passenger wrote. “Orlando began yelling at me and accusing me of lying to him. I attempted to explain that I was simply not in the mood for unwarranted questions and he continued to yell at the driver and I. At this point I began to fear for my well being and began to video tape the officer. He immediately stopped yelling but continued using scare tactics.”
In the video, the Lyft driver pleads with Orlando, “Sir, please, I’m 21-years-old. I’m going to DePaul. I’m paying for school with this car. If I get a $2,400 ticket, I can’t even afford to—”
Interrupting with callous disregard for the young man’s worries, Orlando interjects pointing at the passenger, “He’s gonna pay it.”
After Orlando briefly confers with Gillardo, he attempts to intimidate the passenger by telling him, “And sir, you can record me all you want.”
“Nah, just for everyone’s safety,” the passenger responds.
“Yeah, you know what?” Orlando asks rhetorically. “Just because you’re recording me, now I have to issue the (inexplicable) and impound the vehicle.”
Although Lyft drivers are allowed to drop off passengers at O’Hare, they are restricted from picking up customers. Despite the fact that thousands of people have signed petitions to lift the ban, Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues to ignore them.
After Orlando ordered them out of the car, Gillardo can be heard telling the passenger, “Make sure you get my good side.”
As a uniformed officer approached him, the passenger slid his phone into his pocket while it continued recording. During a brief pat down, the cop found his cellphone and turned off the video after accidentally recording his own face for an instant. While the uniformed cop attempted to delete the video, the passenger asked him if deleting evidence was legal.
“You better f**king believe this is legal,” the cop reportedly yelled at him. “You may be big sh*t where you are from but you are in my territory and I AM KING!”
Taking turns screaming at him, the uniformed cop and Orlando weren’t bright enough to realize that the phone had locked and required a code to access the video. Out of desperation, Orlando allegedly offered to release them if the passenger deleted the footage. But he was smart enough to realize that Orlando was probably lying and would arrest them anyway after deleting the video.
After he refused to delete the evidence, the officers released him but would not allow him to retrieve his luggage from the car. Ordered into the back of a patrol car, he was treated like a criminal even though he had committed no crime. Before picking up his belongings, the passenger spoke with Orlando’s supervisor at the police station and accused the plainclothes cop of attempted blackmail. Orlando denied the allegations.
In 2009, Orlando shot a fleeing suspect in the chest and accused him of trying to run over the officer with his vehicle. Andrzej Wojtkielewicz was charged with aggravated battery and attempted murder, but the jury acquitted him of attempted murder after it was revealed that his vehicle was in park and his hands were up before Orlando shot him.
With cops like these, who needs enemies?