A video of Chicago police tasing a man multiple times in front of his children in the Little Village neighborhood made the rounds on Facebook during the 4th of July weekend.
The man, identified as Angel Ramirez, was recording what appeared to be a police stop in the Mobil gas station at 2801 S. Pulaski. His wife, Anna Morentin, was also recording the police interaction from inside their vehicle, where their children also sat and watched.
The five occupants in the other car were being pulled out of the vehicle one by one and searched by police. Morentin’s video begins with a woman passenger yelling at officers that she recently got out of the hospital and that she can show them proof, before an officer proceeds to handcuff her.
Meanwhile, Ramirez stood several feet away recording with his phone. The two parties have no apparent relation to each other.
The same passenger, Gissella Donayre, later wrote on Facebook that they were dining in a Little Village restaurant that day. Her husband was charged with resisting arrest, she said, but the motive of the stop remains unclear.
“We were stopped for no reason, no one violated any rules or traffic lights. When my husband asked the officer what was the reason for stopping him… he asked for back-up and between all of them pulled my husband out of the car.”
The officer that handcuffed her then walked towards Ramirez and instructed him to back away from the crime scene, lightly pushing him away. Ramirez walked backwards still recording, telling the officer twice, “Don’t touch me,” at which point the officer made a grab for the man’s phone.
A sergeant on the scene joined in, asking, “Hey, you’re gonna be resistant?” and several 10th District police officers attempted to arrest Ramirez.
Ramirez continued yelling, “Don’t touch me!” and police tase him at least twice.
That’s when the eight-year-old children began crying and screaming inside the car.
In the video, the man is heard saying he was tased four times. He also claimed he was pepper sprayed and complained that his face was burning.
The Chicago Police Department confirmed on Monday that Ramirez was charged with two counts of Restricting/Obstructing an Officer.
By law, anyone can record an on-duty law enforcement officer in public places where there is no expectation of privacy.
“However, a law enforcement officer is also authorized to take reasonable action in order to secure a scene, ensure safety of other officers and arrestees, and to maintain order during the commission of their particular duties,” CPD spokesperson, Sergeant Cindy Guerra, said in a statement.
CPD did not respond to questions about the traffic stop.
The video, uploaded July 4th, generated over 260,000 views and a discussion about what exactly constitutes the legal recording of Chicago police.