Chicago Police Apologize to Hip Hop Artist Rhymefest

A man who entered a Chicago police station Saturday to report that he had been robbed at gunpoint ended up pulling out his phone to start recording when officers refused to take his report.

Police then ordered him to leave, telling him he was not allowed to record inside the building, still refusing to take his report.

But at the time, they had no clue the man was [__Che “Rhymefest” Smith__](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhymefest), an award-winning hip artist and songwriter who once ran for office in Chicago.

And they did not know that Rhymefest has almost [__50,000 followers on Twitter,__](https://twitter.com/RHYMEFEST) which was where he posted the video of his interaction with Chicago police.

As a result, the Chicago Police Department was quick to apologize for its unprofessionalism.

But the video, uploaded Saturday morning, has already been shared more than 1,600 times as of this writing while the apology from the police spokesman, which he retweeted almost four hours later, has been shared 117 times.

Furthermore, it’s obvious that the only reason they are apologizing is because Rhymefest has a huge following.

They would never apologize to the random Joe Blow ordered to leave the station after trying to file a report because apologizing is acknowledging they were wrong, which is something police rarely do.

So far, [__CNN,__](http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/27/entertainment/chicago-police-rhymefest-apology/) [__Rolling Stone__](http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/rhymefest-films-mistreatment-by-police-while-reporting-robbery-w436518) and the [__Chicago Tribune__](http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-rhymefest-robbery-report-met-20160827-story.html) and several other news sites have reported on the incident.

Predictably, many commenters on those articles rushed to the defense of police, including one anonymous commenter claiming to be a cop who posted the following on the Chicago Tribune article.

![](https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/maven-user-photos/pinacnews/public-records/LhlGTxQVnU-jb5b_cF6-uA/QTpf4HxdK0C5aSNkiWiKuA)

It is this type of attitude that shows exactly why we must record every interaction with police because otherwise, they will always be given the benefit of the doubt by the general public.

In his video, Rhymefest told the cops the following:

> “They put a gun to my head. They demanded that I give them my wallet. I gave them my wallet. They told me they were going to shoot me.”

But rather than take his report, they were more worried about him recording, telling him to turn the camera off, which was when he responded with the following.

> “I don’t feel comfortable because I feel like I’m being treated … when the camera goes off, you all start telling me to get out, I can’t make a report.”

It appears that he was eventually allowed to make a report by a cop who did not seem very enthusiastic about it.

And while it’s common for police throughout the country to claim we are not allowed to record inside the public areas of police stations, there are no laws that forbid it.

In fact, it was only a few years ago that Illinois had the strictest eavesdropping law in the country, making it a felony to record cops against their wishes, even if they did not have an expectation of privacy.

But that law was ruled unconstitutional and [__now the new law reads__](http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K14-2) as follows.

> (e) Nothing in this Article shall prohibit any individual, not a law enforcement officer, from recording a law enforcement officer in the performance of his or her duties in a public place or in circumstances in which the officer has no reasonable expectation of privacy. However, an officer may take reasonable action to maintain safety and control, secure crime scenes and accident sites, protect the integrity and confidentiality of investigations, and protect the public safety and order.

Had Rhymefest been secretly recording, then uploaded the video, then that could have been potentially problematic because the new Illinois eavesdropping law, like the Massachusetts wiretapping law, makes it illegal to secretly recording others, including police, even if they do not have an expectation of privacy.

But even that provision of the Massachusetts law is [__being challenged in court,__](https://photographyisnotacrime.com/2016/07/01/massachusetts-wiretapping-law-targeted-aclu-lawsuit-second-suit-year/) so it might be only a matter of time when it is ruled unconstitutional.

A man who entered a Chicago police station Saturday to report that he had been robbed at gunpoint ended up pulling out his phone to start recording when officers refused to take his report.

Police then ordered him to leave, telling him he was not allowed to record inside the building, still refusing to take his report.

But at the time, they had no clue the man was [__Che “Rhymefest” Smith__](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhymefest), an award-winning hip artist and songwriter who once ran for office in Chicago.

And they did not know that Rhymefest has almost [__50,000 followers on Twitter,__](https://twitter.com/RHYMEFEST) which was where he posted the video of his interaction with Chicago police.

As a result, the Chicago Police Department was quick to apologize for its unprofessionalism.

But the video, uploaded Saturday morning, has already been shared more than 1,600 times as of this writing while the apology from the police spokesman, which he retweeted almost four hours later, has been shared 117 times.

Furthermore, it’s obvious that the only reason they are apologizing is because Rhymefest has a huge following.

They would never apologize to the random Joe Blow ordered to leave the station after trying to file a report because apologizing is acknowledging they were wrong, which is something police rarely do.

So far, [__CNN,__](http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/27/entertainment/chicago-police-rhymefest-apology/) [__Rolling Stone__](http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/rhymefest-films-mistreatment-by-police-while-reporting-robbery-w436518) and the [__Chicago Tribune__](http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-rhymefest-robbery-report-met-20160827-story.html) and several other news sites have reported on the incident.

Predictably, many commenters on those articles rushed to the defense of police, including one anonymous commenter claiming to be a cop who posted the following on the Chicago Tribune article.

![](https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/maven-user-photos/pinacnews/public-records/LhlGTxQVnU-jb5b_cF6-uA/QTpf4HxdK0C5aSNkiWiKuA)

It is this type of attitude that shows exactly why we must record every interaction with police because otherwise, they will always be given the benefit of the doubt by the general public.

In his video, Rhymefest told the cops the following:

> “They put a gun to my head. They demanded that I give them my wallet. I gave them my wallet. They told me they were going to shoot me.”

But rather than take his report, they were more worried about him recording, telling him to turn the camera off, which was when he responded with the following.

> “I don’t feel comfortable because I feel like I’m being treated … when the camera goes off, you all start telling me to get out, I can’t make a report.”

It appears that he was eventually allowed to make a report by a cop who did not seem very enthusiastic about it.

And while it’s common for police throughout the country to claim we are not allowed to record inside the public areas of police stations, there are no laws that forbid it.

In fact, it was only a few years ago that Illinois had the strictest eavesdropping law in the country, making it a felony to record cops against their wishes, even if they did not have an expectation of privacy.

But that law was ruled unconstitutional and [__now the new law reads__](http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K14-2) as follows.

> (e) Nothing in this Article shall prohibit any individual, not a law enforcement officer, from recording a law enforcement officer in the performance of his or her duties in a public place or in circumstances in which the officer has no reasonable expectation of privacy. However, an officer may take reasonable action to maintain safety and control, secure crime scenes and accident sites, protect the integrity and confidentiality of investigations, and protect the public safety and order.

Had Rhymefest been secretly recording, then uploaded the video, then that could have been potentially problematic because the new Illinois eavesdropping law, like the Massachusetts wiretapping law, makes it illegal to secretly recording others, including police, even if they do not have an expectation of privacy.

But even that provision of the Massachusetts law is [__being challenged in court,__](https://photographyisnotacrime.com/2016/07/01/massachusetts-wiretapping-law-targeted-aclu-lawsuit-second-suit-year/) so it might be only a matter of time when it is ruled unconstitutional.

Support our Mission

Help us build a database of bad cops

For almost 15 years, PINAC News has remained active despite continuous efforts by the government and Big Tech to shut us down by either arresting us for lawful activity or by restricting access to our readers under the pretense that we write about “social issues.”

Since we are forbidden from discussing social issues on social media, we have created forums on our site to allow us to fulfill our mission with as little restriction as possible. We welcome our readers to join our forums and support our mission by either donating, volunteering or both.

Our plan is to build a national database of bad cops obtained from public records maintained by local prosecutors. The goal is to teach our readers how to obtain these lists to ensure we cover every city, county and state in the country.

After all, the government has made it clear it will not police the police so the role falls upon us.

It will be our most ambitious project yet but it can only be done with your help.

But if we succeed, we will be able to keep innocent people out of prison.

Please make a donation below or click on side tab to learn more about our mission.

Subscribe to PINAC

Bypass Big Tech censorship.

Carlos Millerhttps://pinacnews.com
Editor-in-Chief Carlos Miller spent a decade covering the cop beat for various newspapers in the Southwest before returning to his hometown Miami and launching Photography is Not a Crime aka PINAC News in 2007. He also published a book, The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which is available on Amazon.

Leave a Reply

- Advertisement -

Latest articles