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Chicago Police Sergeant Herbert Brown, Jr., told red-light camera protesters they needed a permit to put ‘slanderous’ messages on their signs and compared the protesters to “gang members” this past Saturday.

The officer was dispatched to a protest against the city’s controversial red light/speed cameras on Chicago’s South Side and according to one protester, Sergeant Brown arrived in “belligerent” fashion to “take charge” of the demonstration. A YouTube video posted of the exchange shows Brown telling the demonstrators they are “just as bad” as “gang members.”

Scott Davis, candidate for Alderman in the 44th ward and staunch opponent of the city’s red light/speed camera program, told RebelPundit that Brown changed his harsh tune once he realized he was being recorded—but that didn’t stop him from continuing to harass the protesters, and at one point threaten to arrest to Davis.

The video picks up in the middle of the encounter:

Sergeant Brown: Because all these slanderous signs, you understand what I’m saying, that’s not what we’re about here. That sign about [Alderman Anthony] Beale, that sign about the mayor, you gotta have a permit to do this.

Davis: We have a permit, it’s the Constitution, it’s the First Amendment.

Sergeant Brown: Let me tell you something, I’m not getting ready to go back and do all this nonsense, I’ve been doing this a lot of times. And my thing is you will not be holding up the flow of traffic. I don’t have a problem with you doing it, those are fine (pointing to signs about red light cameras), that one about Beale…

Davis: Why, why?

Sergeant Brown: You want to go in the station? I don’t play witchu [sic], dude.

Davis: I’m ready to go.

Sergeant Brown: I don’t play witchu [sic]. Because you gonna have a problem wit me. [sic]

Davis: Take me in.

The video shows Davis remaining at a distance from Sergeant Brown, who nonetheless made a veiled threat against Davis, saying, “Man, get away from me before I… Get away from me.”

Brown insists in the video that he doesn’t work for Alderman Beale or Mayor Emanuel, and even acknowledges they have a constitutional right to be there, yet continued to harass the demonstrators demanding they stop interrupting the flow of traffic.

Davis told RebelPundit the protesters were standing on the corner with their signs and handing flyers to commuters passing by, “when the light turned green, we got off the street and let the traffic go by.” According to Davis, it was the cops that were disrupting the flow of traffic while on the scene (pictured above):

His and the other squad car blocked two lanes of traffic for 45 minutes while they were there.

As the exchange continued, Brown grew more frustrated, comparing his encounter with the peaceful demonstrators to dealing with gang members on the street.

You all are ridiculous. I’m talking to this man, and you want to interject. If I had some kids on the street out here that were gang members, you all are acting just as bad as them, cause you all won’t let me talk to him.

Davis said the group would not be deterred from protesting the city’s Red Light Camera Program.

As Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, we love our city and are working hard to make it a better place by getting rid of the Red Light Camera Program, which is unsafe, unfair, unconstitutional and tainted by corruption.

As activists we know and assert our rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution to peaceably assemble and affirm our right to petition our government for redress of grievances. Our so-called “slanderous signs,” as CPD Sergeant Brown characterized them, are protected speech and we are protected by the First Amendment to protest on the public way without fear of reprisals.

Last week, the Chicago Tribune released a report after a major investigation that showed unexplained spikes of more than 50 citations in one day, where only one per day was the average in Red Light Camera ticketing at certain intersections.

Since 2007, the City of Chicago has generated more than $400 million from over 4 million tickets issued by the Red Light Camera Program.

The group chose this 34th ward location for the protest because the ward Alderman Carrie Austin voted in favor of the new Speed Camera Program in 2012, to issue tickets to drivers going over the speed limit.

In October 2013, RebelPundit captured video of Austin at an explosive city council meeting admitting, she thought it was funny, “how messed up black folks are.”

2 Responses

  1. Josie

    I hate those cameras but this officer was trying to do his job. He asked that they not obstruct traffic! That’s what he should have done. I have been one of these protesters for many causes and when ever police or state troopers came they always said do not obstruct traffic and we obeyed and were respectful and did not argue with them. These people were wrong and this could have gotten out of hand needlessly. Conservatives are held to a higher standard and I for one don’t mind.

  2. sick and tired of the dictator

    ill tell you what the real problem is people like that cop that is trying to prevent peoplemusing their constitutional rights.the cop works for rahm Emanuel need I say more!


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