Man says state trooper extorted him to get gun - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Man says state trooper extorted him to get gun

Updated: Apr 30, 2012 18:45 PM CDT
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Did a state trooper try to shakedown a man in order to get his gun? 

In a FOX News Investigation, Demetrius Harris says he made a deal with the the trooper after she caught him driving with a revoked license on the inbound Eisenhower this month. 

Harris admits, he's got a troubled past with gangs. But he insists the trooper told him she wouldn't have his car towed, and wouldn't take him to jail, if he gave her his weapon. 

Harris says he called his family from the back of a squard car, and they managed to find a gun on the west side.

Harris says his cousin, John Green, was instructed by the trooper over a cell phone to deliver the gun to the expressway, ordered to place in a garbage can, and then get lost. 

But after delivering the gun, Green went across the street, to shoot cell phone video which he says shows the trooper fishing the gun out of the garbage can, which Harris still in the backseat of her squad car.

Then, Harris says, the trooper drove him back to his car. 

"She promised me that she did this before," Harris said. "She did it plenty of times, and she's not gonna put the gun on me and I'm not gonna go to jail." 

FOX Chicago News looked at the trooper's report that night, and according to the report, she did indeed turn in a gun that she found in a garbage can.

State Police tell us this is a legitimate practice aimed at getting guns off the street.

"We don't look at it as a deal," Captain Luis Gutierrez said. "We look at it as an opportunity to remove firearms from our roadway."

Gutierrez, who's the trooper's boss, tells us it was actually Harris who pleaded with the trooper, telling her he would tell her where to find a gun, if he would just let him go.

But, that raises the question of how Harris' cousin would just happen to be across the street, shooting the video.

University of Chicago Law Professor Craig Futterman, who's an expert on police procedure, calls it "extortion, plain and simple."

"Nothing wrong with the goal of getting a gun off the street," Futterman said. "But there is something wrong with using police power to extort someone." 

"Our goal at the Illinois State Police is to protect the citizens of this state," Gutierrez responded. "Illegal trafficking of weapons is a cause of the majority of violent crimes in our community. And in this case, this individual had knowledge of one of those weapons."

Troopers tell Fox Chicago's Dane Placko they are under a lot of pressure to find guns and get them off the streets in a gun-turn-in incentive.

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