Gregory’s Video: 300 Day Sentence for Videotaping at the Ethical Humanist Society?

Posted by admin | Announcement | Sunday 25 March 2012 9:19 pm

Gregory Koger took this video on November 1, 2009 at the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago. He was subsequently grabbed by the police, brutalized and arrested, and after the ensuing political prosecution received an outrageous 300 day sentence.

This video was admitted at his trial as “People’s Exhibit #1″ and shown repeatedly to the jury. In refusing to overturn Gregory’s conviction and sentence, the Illinois Appellate Court simply wrote this key piece of evidence out of the record.

Gregory’s defense team thinks it’s well worth watching. It shows that Gregory was openly filming as he and others entered EHSC that morning, right in front of Matt Cole, then-President of EHSC. Gregory was greeted at door and, as they entered the auditorium, we see that the program had not started and music was blaring. Gregory says nothing since he was there to document events, not be part of them. The only apparent aggression comes from Matt Cole, who violently grabs Gregory’s camera. Matt Cole never orders Gregory to leave or tells him he is trespassing. Officer Bello (in plainclothes) speaks loudly as he asks Gregory to “step outside” to talk with him, but he too says nothing about leaving or trespass.

Gregory never says a word to Cole or Bello, let alone swears at them as they claimed in previous statements. This video also refutes Cole’s statement to police that he told Gregory to stop filming several times or that he would be arrested for criminal trespass, and Bello’s claim that he witnessed those warnings. Read the police report for yourself. Those allegations had to be rewritten the day before the trial to “adapt” to the evidence in this video – and ensure conviction of Gregory Koger simply for attempting to document a peaceful statement critical of EHSC’s censorship of a long-scheduled speaker. THIS is a crime deserving 300 days in jail?!?

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