Dolton, IL — A stop for speeding quickly turned violent as a Dalton police officer’s ‘fishing’ expedition was thwarted by a polite man who knew his rights. The entire interaction was captured on video.
As the stop begins, officer Gutierrez pulled over a man driving a car and claimed he was doing 35 in a 25. However, the issue of speeding was clearly not the cop’s main focus. He was on a mission to find contraband.
The officer is arrogant right from the start as he stereotypically claims that the driver probably has no license and insurance.
After insulting the driver, he begins to berate the passengers by assuming that they are hiding something in the car. By this point, the initial stop for the alleged speeding violation is but a fleeting thought in this officer’s head.
“Is there anything in the car we should know about,” Gutierrez kept asking.
In the back seat of the car was Steven S. Sinnott, an informed individual who pulled out his camera to document the subsequent violation of his rights.
Sinnott, entirely aware of his 5th Amendment right to remain silent, chose not to answer the officer’s questions. This infuriated Gutierrez, who was apparently sickened by the fact that a citizen would dare exert their rights while in his presence.
Sinnott’s rights flexing then spread to the driver who quickly and legally refused to let the officer search his car.
As Gutierrez’s attempt to violate the rights of these men was met with legal and ethical resistance, the cop couldn’t take it any longer. By this time, backup had arrived, and Gutierrez, who now had another gun to support his tyranny, threw a full on tantrum.
“I told you to drop the phone and put your hands behind the car seat,” he ordered.
“I said put the phone down and put your hands on the seat!” he repeated.
However, Sinnott, knowing his rights, continued recording. Gutierrez then ordered his backup officers to pull him out of the car.
“I wasn’t trying to make their job harder at all,” Sinnott said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Friday.
“I was trying to stand up for my rights,” he said.
As Sinnott is attacked and thrown to the ground, the officer attacking him says, “Shut the fuck up!”
Sinnott is then forced to lie face down on the street as the officer handcuffs him, saying, he should “learn how to listen.”
Sinnott told PINAC what happened next.
The camera then turns off but Sinnott said he was left laying facedown on the street for almost ten minutes before he was transported to the police department and handcuffed to a wall.
He was told he was being charged with disorderly conduct, which is one of those contempt-of-cop charges they use against people who have broken no law.
It was not until one of the officers realized that he had worked with Sinnott’s mother in the past as a security guard that they released him with a disorderly conduct summons.
Not only does his mother work in security, two of Sinnott’s brothers are police officers in Illinois. And his father is in the military.
That is why he did not hesitate to exercise his right to record as well as his right to remain silent.
We are seeing more and more cases of police officers violating the rights of individuals for the sole reason that the choose to assert them. Just this week, the Free Thought Project has reported on two separate instances during which innocent individuals were detained and assaulted for doing nothing more than legally asserting their rights.
In Philadelphia, a 50-year-old black man was unlawfully detained, handcuffed, and his gun stolen from him by cops — for legally open-carrying.
In New Jersey, Rebecca Musarra was pulled over by two New Jersey state troopers after they suspected her of speeding. The troopers’ careless disregard for the law was subsequently captured on dashcam showing them arrest this woman for the sole act of practicing her constitutional right to remain silent.
If you’d like to peacefully voice your concern with their callous disregard for the constitution, the Dolton Police Department can be reached at (708) 841-2533.