Two Men Say Chicago Police Unlawfully Detained Them During NATO Protest

Caledonia residents Michael Yocco and Mike Paczesny, two men who went to film the NATO protests for We Are Change Milwaukee, said Chicago cops didn’t have probable cause to search Yocco’s car, and unlawfully detained them.

Caledonia residents Michael Yocco and Mike Paczesny are not anarchists and they were not flying an anarchy flag when Yocco was arrested on weapons charges by the Chicago Police Department near Wrigley Field on Saturday, they said.  

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the two men were anarchists, and part of the militia when they were detained at the 19th Precinct of the Chicago Police Department during the NATO protests. Yocco and Paczesny said the officers didn’t have probable cause to search Yocco’s car, unlawfully detained them and arrested Yocco because he had ammunition in his car.

But Yocco and Paczesny say they were just shooting video of the protests for an alternative media group called We Are Change Milwaukee.

“We were just filming,” Paczesny said. “We were documenting. We weren’t officially part of the movement or anything like that.”

”It was ridiculous, they repeatedly tried to get me to admit to terrorism. I told them I wasn’t a terrorist, and they said I was lying."

Yocco had just put his Gadsden flag, which is the first flag U.S. Marine Corps from 1776, into the trunk of his car and the two had tried to get in front of the protestors. He had won the flag in a YouTube contest and wanted some video of him with it. The black flag had the words “Don’t tread on me” and “liberty or death." He had political stickers showing support for the second amendment, Ron Paul and a Gadsden flag sticker on his car.

Five plain-clothed officers, who got out of an unmarked black minivan, started to scream at Yocco and Paczesny to put their hands out. One officer flashed a Chicago Police Department badge and asked what the two were doing. Yocco said they were taking pictures.

Then a man wearing riot gear asked Yocco where his car was and if they could search his vehicle.

“I said, ‘Absolutely, I mind. I don’t want you to search my car,’” he said. The officer told Yocco he was going to search his car anyhow. The officer walked up to Yocco, put his hands into Yocco’s pockets and grabbed his keys.

Yocco said he pulled the officer’s hands out of his pocket and said, ‘Man, what are you doing? You don’t have a right to touch me like that."

They allegedly pushed Yocco and Paczesny up against the wall, put zipper ties around their wrists and took Yocco’s keys from his pocket. Searching his car, the police found ammunition and a knife in a bag in the trunk of his car, which Yocco had forgotten to take out of his car after he had been up north at his cabin, he said.

“I didn’t even see them and I didn’t even know they were in the car because they were in the trunk,” Paczesny said.

Yocco said he has a carry conceal weapons permit as a Wisconsin citizen and goes shooting up north at least once a month. He had taken the guns out of his car and hadn’t taken the bag out. He’s also a licensed security officer.

Paczesny and Yocco said they weren’t read their Miranda Rights, and the officers didn’t say why the two were initially being detained prior to them searching the car.

“It was a complete shakedown,” Paczesny said. “They trapped us in the alley, they cornered us because we weren’t part of the protest and once we surrounded by all police, they took advantage of us.”

The two men were loaded into a van and the police station. When the two arrived, law enforcement officials put wristbands with a barcodes on their wrists, wrote numbers on both of their hands with a marker, interrogated them in separate rooms, handcuffed them to benches, took eye scans of their retinas and took their photos.

“It was a mess, just a mess,” Yocco said.

Several media outlets have reported that the two men had guns in their car, but there weren’t any guns.

Paczesny was asked about his affiliation with We Are Change, and he believes he was flagged for it.

“We Are Change is definitely not a militia group and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up,” he said.

“They said, ‘You’re a terrorist, you’re going to jail,” Paczesny said. “I mean, it was ridiculous, they repeatedly tried to get me to admit to terrorism. I told them I wasn’t a terrorist, and they said I was lying.”

The officers told Paczesny that they saw him with a cell phone and thought he was going to detonate the car.

But Paczesny wasn’t a terrorist. He was never arrested, and had been released at 2 a.m. However, Yocco was released after his arrest on a signature bond at 6 a.m. Sunday.

By 8 a.m., Yocco and Paczesny had met up with other people from We Are Change in Minnesota and they were showing them where they were arrested. The others in the van had started filming, and they were again stopped by law enforcement.

“They were filming and an officer in an unmarked squad said, ‘Keep your camera down!’” Yocco said.

Again, six or seven police officers in four different unmarked squad cars blocked in the truck and guns were drawn.

“Hands, hands, hands! Show us your hands,” Yocco said.

The officers realized Yocco had the bar code wristbands and asked if he had been processed. Yocco told the officer that he had just got out of jail and he was going home.

“And I’m like thinking, 'Oh God, oh God, oh God,'” he said. “And I just shut my mouth.”

They frisked the men, and a mass of people showed up and started recording what was happening. After they searched, Yocco was released and he we went home.

Officials with the Chicago Police Department confirmed Yocco’s arrest, but referred media to call the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office.

Bewildered May 22, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I sorry, taking live ammunition and a knife to a politically charged demonstration, esp in Chicago, is just dumb. Be it an" oversite"or not, what did they expect the cops to do when they discovered the illegal ( in Illinois) bullets? Next time, clear out your trunk.
Otter May 22, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Three places to never go into, 1) Chicago, 2) New York City, and 3) California.
Johnny Blade May 22, 2012 at 06:01 PM
@Bewildered ... How is it illegal?? so you support the police state, the police state is the foundation of Tyranny ... I also saw how you said you should respect the military, do you respect the Nazi SS they were also the military, or do you get to decide who i should respect??
Bewildered May 22, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Boy what a stupid comment ! How is it illegal. Read the Illinios law, dummy. Asking if I support the SS? My goodness, such an intellectual question. You are a fool. Think before ranting. And take your ammunition out of your trunk before leaving the state. ( love to have you as a neighbor) !
Henry Bowman May 22, 2012 at 07:21 PM
@Bewildered: Searching the car was illegal. Why are you not berating the CPD for breaking the law? Yocco forgot some ammo and was arrested but the PD gets a pass for violation of rights under color of law? Talk about
Bewildered May 22, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Agree, if this version' s true, CPD was flat out wrong. It's just the "I forgot" excuse smells a little fishy to me. Love to hear both sides on this one. Seems these two were out looking to make the news, not report on it. But isn't that what "alternative media" does? Thank goodness the DNC convention isn't in Chicago. We'd have 1968 all over, compleat with a Mayor Daily style crackdown
Bewildered May 22, 2012 at 09:34 PM
By the way, my "how is it illegal ?" was directed at carrying concealed ammunition and weapons in Il. Of course an "illegal search" can not be condoned. Just like to see more proof what actualy happened. Not sure the "I forgot I was transporting illegal ammunitions and weapons" defense holds up. Not many folks I know forget about live rounds in the trunk.
Edward Willing May 22, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Be.... he didn't "take live ammunition and a knife to a politically charged demonstration" They were in his trunk, put away, and with no gun to show any potential for use. Next time, stick to the facts. The Constitution doesn't care what you think he should or shouldn't have done. This would have never been a story had three violations of the Constitution not occurred. Juuuuuuuust sayin.
Edward Willing May 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Again, there was no gun. A knife is not illegal to have in Illinois. Illinois has an unconstitutional law that says you must be registered and have an ID to carry ammo without a gun, even if you're out of state. That's a violation of the 2nd amendment and all common sense. And again, none of this would havebeen an issue had the Constitution been followed from the beginning by the 19th Prec cops.
JACK JACKSON May 22, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Just for clarification, when you say "Paczesny and Yocco said they weren’t read their Miranda Rights, and the officers didn’t say why the two were initially being detained prior to them searching the car," police do not need to read you your Miranda Rights at any point. They do not need to do this after you are arrested, as the TV would lead you to believe. They need to do this ONLY after you are arrested, and ONLY if they question you about the crime and want those answers to be admissible in court. If they don't read my rights to me, i'd be extatic because anything said would not be admissible in court. I think everyone should know their rights anyway, but I get why it needs to be read. They also do not need to tell you why you are being detained. They would need to put that into an arrest report and document the reasonable suspicion and/or probable cause to stop/detain you, but they aren't required to tell you. In fact, if you are arrested, legally, they do not need to inform you of the charges until you see a judge(within 72 hours). Of course, they almost always tell you why you have been arrested right away, as a curtesy, but just for clarification they aren't required to. So what were you charged with?
JACK JACKSON May 23, 2012 at 12:10 AM
You really think they were using an x-ray device to "scan" your cars for illegal ammunition as they drove by? Sounds like science fiction, since that's not how x-rays work, but for sake of argument, lets say you are correct and they used their device and it indicated illegal ammunition in your trunk. Wouldn't that have given them probable cause to believe that there is ammunition in your trunk? It seems kind of like a drug dog hitting on a car indicating that there are drugs in the car... that's all the cops need to do a search.
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt May 23, 2012 at 12:44 AM
@ Jack, amen brother!
Bewildered May 23, 2012 at 01:43 AM
So your pont is that because you personaly consider a law to be unconstitutional, it's ok to break it? ( I can't believe I'm defending Illinios). Wow ! And nowhere did I claim anything about a gun. Then you claim I made up that "a knife and live ammo was taken to a politically charged demonstration". OK, what is made up? To quote the Romantics, " Absolutely Nothing". Come on Willy, didn't your mom tell you not to lie? What I've been saying is what an incredibly dumb thing to do. You sure you dont share a brain with Jonny Blade?
BHirsh May 23, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Serves 'em right fer bein' troublemakers. Ron Paul, indeed. Paulies are loony toons. They should change the name of their org to "We Are Idiots". You go into Illinois, you sweep your car and make SURE there are NO firearms-related items in there. Otherwise, expect to get jacked up. Only an idiot wouldn't have done so, but he's a Paulie, so he is by definition an idiot. He expects to thrust the Constitution into a cop's face and cause the same reactionas thrusting a cross at a vampire. Idiot. I-D-I-O-T.
mikep May 23, 2012 at 07:00 AM
lol its kinda funny cause your mad. im glad i filmed this illegal detainment, also remember some people are angered by differences, someone who is smarter can seem to be a threat to a lower level intelligence.
mikep May 23, 2012 at 07:03 AM
ok first of all, ive researched the police state for years, so check this out http://youtu.be/SZ2YW7-4Gbw , second of all, they had the highest levels of technology on hand. so i based my opinion on fact, and theory. thx for reading!
mikep May 23, 2012 at 07:13 AM
is this enough proof ? http://youtu.be/g09Ja_sF8J0
mikep May 23, 2012 at 07:18 AM
i was uncharged, detained for 7+ hours, harassed, and bullied. i wasnt even in the car at the time although i was a passenger at one time, the detainment was illegal no matter how you slice it, the proof is the video of the arrest. http://youtu.be/g09Ja_sF8J0
mikep May 23, 2012 at 07:19 AM
also ron paul 12 :)
mike yocco May 23, 2012 at 09:12 AM
When i got home after this whole ordeal i looked up the Illinois state laws. and i did not violate any of them. it was completely legal for me to have ammo and a gun in my trunk as long as the gun was in its own case unloaded and preferably disassembled. now i diddnt have a gun. just ammo. and i did not consent to a search of my car. My right to be secure in my persons and property was ignored, my right to keep and bear arms was infringed. and my right to peaceably assemble and ask the government for a redress of grievances was infringed. now if you think you know more about my situation than I do.I'd love to know how that is.
mike yocco May 23, 2012 at 09:18 AM
My God.... A response like yours is the reason our future generations are in trouble. And just for the record i hope you know that vampires are not a real thing but our founding fathers sacred document call the constitution of the untied states of America is not only real but you can go to Washington D.C. and see it for yourself...
mike yocco May 23, 2012 at 09:31 AM
I was arrested and i did know that about the meranda rights. I just want it to be know that the arresting officers were the ones at fault. the officers that did the processing were a much nicer bunch of people. they seemed as confused and tiered as i was.one of the officers even bought mike and i a granola bar from the vending machine.although Mike P being detained as long as he was was ridiculous, and unwarranted. the officers at the center were understanding and empathetic to our situation.
JACK JACKSON May 23, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Like I said though... it doesn't matter if you don't know your rights. It doesn't matter that they didn't read them to you. Since you were in custody, and your they did not read you the maranda warning, what you said in custody can not be admissible in court. It seems, though, that they do not need any of your testimony since they conducted a search of your car legally. It was legal since they saw, in plain view, the illegal ammunition that was on your back seat, giving them probable cause to believe that there would be more contraband in the car... which there was.
JACK JACKSON May 23, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Better get on your tin foil hat while you're at it... big brother is watching. Like I said though, if they had the technology, and it indicated an illegal substance, that all the more probable cause to search your car... isn't it?
leonard embody May 23, 2012 at 01:52 PM
As you learned the pigs can get away with whatever they like. We no longer live in a free country.
Frank May 23, 2012 at 06:58 PM
If one is so knowledgeable about the constituion and your civil rights, one should probably take the time to edumacate themselves with out of state laws, prior to entering that state and violating them. Don't wait to analize your conduct and actions after the fact. Be prepared and don't violate the laws in the first place. If you are not part of a solution, you are part of the problem. I aplaud those who fight for change in this country and speak their mind to get others to follow them. Just do it within the boundaries of our civil rights and within the scope of the law. Don't cause a stink with the press about nonsense. What is the point of this entire article? Unlawful detention in Chicago? This is not a Wisconsin problem, not a Racine County problem, not a Village of Caledonia problem and not a Caledonia Patch problem. This is an issue for Chicago, Illinois. You bring this horible media coverage to our state, county and village. Just stop! Or better yet, move to Illinois!
Edward Willing May 28, 2012 at 07:25 PM
It took me a while to wade through the bad spelling and grammatical carelessness... Yocco didn't violate state laws. He was entirely legal. And even after the illegal search, it was clear that an arrest was completely uncalled for. "Edumacate" yourself on how to spell "analyze" Meanwhile, this story was completely appropriate for Caledonia Patch because Caledonia residents were unlawfully detained and covered by national news. If you don't like it, ignore the article. I'm glad she covered it.
Angel September 16, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Thank God for concealed carry weapons permit it's protects me & my family and innocent people that needs protection too. "also" with out this; second amendment law we will be in big trouble, bad guys will take over our street & our home. ((( so ))) thank God, Now the bad guys know that there are cops that help people & there are people that follow the law too help themselves & family & strangers from people that don't follow the law. yours truly Angel from Florida
oak creek resident September 16, 2012 at 03:54 PM
lol I don't think they'll get the sarcasm
oak creek resident September 16, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Yeah well its good to see Obama voter vs Obama voter


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