Hindi isn’t eavesdropper, Kane County judge rules
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2000:
CHICAGO––Judge James T. Boyle of the
Circuit Court of Kane County, Illinois, on September 6
acquitted SHARK founder Steve Hindi of alleged felony
eavesdropping. Hindi was charged in a case drawing
widespread attention from civil libertarians for having
taped the July 1999 refusal of St. Charles County police
to lay cruelty charges against participants in the Kane
County Fair rodeo––in a public place, and making no
effort to conceal that he was recording the discussion.
The verdict came two weeks after Hindi and
SHARK videotaped extensive use of electroshock, tailraking,
and other techniques which appeared to violate
National High School Rodeo Association rules during the
NHSRA Finals in Springfield, Illinois.
The NHSRA Finals were co-hosted by the
Illinois Department of Agriculture, which also has jurisdiction
over Illinois anti-cruelty law enforcement.
However, like the St. Charles County police, departmental
officials refused to act. The inaction, together with
what the SHARK videos showed, was prominently noted
by Springfield media.
Yet despite the exposure, Hindi and SHARK
videotaped more of the same apparent violations just two
days later at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Rockford.
It was an especially busy few weeks for Hindi,
who was just back from orbiting the Mattel toy company
offices in Southern California for a few days with the
SHARK Slam Van (see page 13), airing continuous-loop
close-up footage of bullfights in protest against the failure
of Mattel to withdraw from stores a “Spanish Barbie” doll
costumed as a bullfighter. Mattel did halt production, but
the scheduled run was apparently already finished.
“The Slam Van had the desired effect,” Hindi
said. “Mattel management got quite upset. It is yet to be
seen whether Mattel will do the right thing and institute a
policy prohibiting future association of its products with
Previous Mattel incarnations of Barbie, introduced
in 1959, have almost always been animal-friendly.
Hindi planned to exhibit the Slam Van next at
the mid-September No Kill Conference, in Tucson, and
by year’s end expects to unveil the Tiger, a much larger
vehicle which will display SHARK undercover videos on
several of the biggest TV screens ever built.