William Kelly, a conservative reporter for the Washington Times, said Friday he filed criminal battery charges against top aides to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Last weekend, he wrote, “members of the media and area residents were invited to attend an anti-violence march with Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel organized by Rev. Corey Brooks in the Woodlawn neighborhood.”
“I arrived at the scene and immediately noticed that I was being shadowed by Emanuel’s entire staff,” he added.
Kelly and his cameraman decided to record the incident on video.
“Emanuel’s senior aides were caught on tape repeatedly ambushing, shoving, and strong-arming me to prevent me from asking Mayor Emanuel any questions – ironic given Rev. Brooks’ message of non-violence that day,” he wrote.
Kelly found himself surrounded and harassed by Emanuel staffers several times in the two videos he posted.
At one point, a security guard shoved him against a wall with his forearm.
“Some of the senior aides involved are believed to be First Deputy Chief of Staff Felicia Davis, Press Secretary Tarrah Cooper, and an unidentified security guard,” he wrote.
He told a police officer that he wanted to file battery charges against Davis, but she pressured the officer to ignore his request, which he did.
Other members of the media were present at the public event, and none of them were harassed. Kelly was even detained for a time by Chicago police lieutenants who checked his press credentials.
“No other media were detained or questioned,” he added.
Kelly asked: “Who directed them to do that? Did the Mayor order them to do that?”
Kelly says he believes he was singled out by Emanuel’s staff in a coordinated effort to violate his civil rights.
According to Kelly, such tactics are not unusual in Chicago.
In October 2010, Kelly wrote that CBS correspondent Jay Levine threatened to “deck” him for asking Emanuel a question.
Kelly says that he intends to fight for his rights and plans to file “a civil lawsuit against the City of Chicago and a complaint with the Office of Inspector General.”
“Perhaps Mayor Emanuel will answer my questions then,” he added.
But that may be wishful thinking on Kelly’s part.
In March 2010, Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) called Emanuel a “son of the devil’s spawn.”
“He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive,” Rep. Massa said.
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