CHICAGO: Police Tase and Pepper Spray Man for Recording Them

By Kim Hyung-Sang

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Chicago police attacked and arrested a man who was recording a traffic stop at a Mobil gas station at 2801 S. Pulaski Rd.

Angel Ramirez, his wife Anna Morentin, and their children were at the gas station when police started to pull passengers out of another car and search them. In a video posted by Morentin on Facebook, a woman passenger is seen yelling at the officers that she had just gotten out of the hospital and that she had proof she can show them, before a police officer begins to handcuff her. In response, Ramirez started to record the incident several feet away with his phone.

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After handcuffing the woman, the officer moved towards Ramirez and ordered him to back up, pushing him in the process. Ramirez told the officer twice not to touch him, still recording. That was when the officer started to grab at Ramirez’s phone. Another police officer joined in, asking Ramirez, “Hey, you’re gonna be resistant?” before several other officers from the 10th District began to arrest Ramirez.

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As Ramirez yelled at them not to touch him, officers tased him at least twice. His children in the car started to scream and cry. In the video recorded by Morentin from inside the car, Ramirez is heard saying that he was not only tased four times, but that he was pepper sprayed and that his face was burning.

The Chicago Police Department confirmed on Monday that Ramirez was charged with two counts of Resisting/Obstructing an Officer.

Morentin’s video has generated nearly 300,000 views at time of publication. Even though it is legal to record officers in public places, the police still violently attack people who record their actions and throw them into the state’s dungeons.

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In the US, law is used to enforce the rule of the imperialist bourgeoisie and as a tool for national oppression. Countless members of oppressed nations have been arrested and even killed by police officers while engaging in “legal” activities.

This episode demonstrates the bankruptcy of the idea that monitoring the police will put an end to their brutality. Politicians and nonprofits that push this “accountability” agenda are effectively giving the police cover to continue their repressive measures against the people, especially the oppressed Black and Chicano nations as well as immigrant communities.

The attack on Ramirez once again confirms that the police do not serve the masses and retaliate against those who attempt to hold them accountable. Faced with these facts, it is imperative that revolutionaries lead the people in organizing against the police to protect themselves from this threat. Ultimately, the masses need a people’s army to withstand attacks by all reactionaries and the lapdogs of the decaying state.