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Man removed from Harvey, Illinois City Council meeting says there was no reason for handcuffs

Man removed from Harvey, Ill. City Council meeting says handcuffs weren't necessary
Man removed from Harvey, Ill. City Council meeting says handcuffs weren't necessary 02:30

HARVEY, Ill. (CBS) -- On Thursday night, a man was taken out in handcuffs from a chaotic city council meeting in south suburban Harvey—as seen in video obtained exclusively by CBS 2.

That man, Ryan Sinwelski, talked to CBS 2 on Friday—and showed his perspective of the entire ordeal as documented on cellphone video. Sinwelski claims there was no reason for him to be placed in handcuffs.

Just minutes into the Harvey City Council meeting Friday, Sinwelski was taken away in handcuffs and cited for disorderly conduct.

After he was released, he shared pictures showing red marks on his wrists.

"Grabbed my neck, which you saw in the video, like extremely aggressively," Sinwelski said. "They were just super rough with my hands—way rougher than they needed to be."

Sinwelski was standing and recording the Harvey City Council meeting on his cellphone. In his own video, he could be heard commenting on and reacting to parts of the meeting—at one point saying, "Boo."

"Then I just felt this police presence out of nowhere," Sinwelski said.

Harvey police officers approached and asked him to leave the meeting.

Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark said to Sinwelski at the meeting, "There is nothing wrong with your recording, but please come to order or you will be removed." 

Sinwelski maintained that he did nothing inappropriate. 

"There was nothing said out of order—no profanity, nothing rude," he said at the meeting. "This is pure intimidation."

Clark then went on to ask officers to remove Sinwelski.

"I didn't want to just go out quietly, because it's like, hey, I'm not doing anything wrong or illegal," Sinwelski said. "There's no reason for you to remove me out of this meeting other than you don't like me—you don't like that I would dare disagree."

Sinwelski said he believes he was targeted for participating in, and documenting, a rally earlier this week in opposition to Mayor Clark's policy of collecting fees from businesses with delinquent property tax bills.

"It shouldn't have to take people getting arrested—me, myself getting arrested—to get attention," said Sinwelski.

CBS 2 asked Mayor Clark about the incident after it happened.

"You saw that I told him to come to order several times, and I told him that filming was permissible, but he needed to come to order," Clark said. "He did not come to order."

Sinwelski disputed that characterization.

"Mayor Clark loves to tell people they're out of order. He tells it to everybody," Sinwelski said. "Basically it just means, 'I don't like what you have to say, so shut up.' It's lost all meaning with him."

On Friday, Sinwelski filed a complaint against the officers who detained him. He said he was in custody for a few hours before being released with the citation.

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