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'I Was Livid': On Video, Man Takes Down Black Lives Matter Sign From Chicago Lawn

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A North Side family is outraged after someone apparently working for the city went onto their property and turned their Black Lives Matter sign face down.

They shared the story with CBS 2's Tim McNicholas who is live now in the North Park neighborhood.

"I was livid when I saw the video."

Dimitri Hepburn's security video shows a man with a vest walk onto this property, yank up a Black Lives Matter sign, and then turn it face down after it lands on its side.

"He took the time to turn it over so that it was face down," he said. "It was, I don't wanna say unbelievable, but shocking."

Just before that, the man tied a sign to a tree where today CBS 2 found city of Chicago "No Parking" signs in the work zone.

"I think he needs to be held accountable," Hepburn said.

CBS 2 saw a city truck and multiple city employees working in the area Friday. Workers said they were doing sewer cleaning and they didn't know anything about the removal of the sign.

Hepburn and his wife said they reached out to Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th) and were told the ward office is looking into it.

"It was a violation of my first amendment rights. You have signs up in my own yard," Hepburn said. "It was a violation of our safety and privacy, I felt."

Hepburn said the signs been up for months, and before this, he's never encountered any problems.

"There is clear delineation between what is public property and what is our garden, our private property," Hepburn said.

His wife put the sign back up once she realized it was down.

"Black Lives Matter is not, only Black Lives Matter," Hepburn said. "It's Black Lives Matter too. Black Lives Matter as well."

Alderman Nugent's office sent CBS 2 a statement on the matter:

This incident surrounding the Black Lives Matter sign being removed is unacceptable in the 39th Ward. I have been working with various city departments throughout the day in an attempt to identify the individual in the video and which department they may work. It is believed the individual is connected with the Department of Water Management (DWM) either as an employee or as a contractor. The DWM is working to identify the individual and confirm they are an employee of the department. It is the standard procedure of the Department of Water Management to refer issues of this magnitude to the Office of Inspector General for a complete investigation and necessary action.

The city's water department also sent a statement to CBS 2:

This incident goes against our values as a City. The Chicago Department of Water Management does not tolerate any misconduct on the part of our employees. We are working on confirmation that this is a DWM employee and have referred the matter to the Office of the Inspector General.


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