SHARK files conspiracy suit vs. Wauconda
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2002:
CHICAGO–The activist group SHARK on April 24 sued Illinois
associate judge for the 19th Judicial Circuit John T. Phillips,
state’s attorney Michael Waller, assistant state’s attorney Daniel
Shanes, the Wauconda County Chamber of Commerce, Wauconda police
chief Daniel Quick, and three current and former members of the
Wauconda County Sheriff’s Department, alleging that for nine years
they engaged in a criminal conspiracy to deprive SHARK members of
their civil liberties in connection with protests against the annual
Wauconda Chamber of Commerce rodeo.
Two private attorneys were also named as alleged
conspirators, SHARK founder Steve Hindi said, “for filing a false
libel suit in 1997 seeking over $200,000 in damages against the
plaintiffs, who sought to have Deputy Sheriff John Van Dien
prosecuted” for roughing up three female demonstrators. The case was
dropped after U.S. District Court Judge James B. Moran reviewed SHARK
videotape of the incidents in contention, and found the libel claims
to be unsupported.
“However,” said Hindi, “the libel suit was later
reinstated.” Then, instead of seeking money, the alleged
conspirators “attempted to extort an agreement from the plaintiffs
not to use cameras at the Wauconda Rodeo to document animal abuse.”
The SHARK suit alleges a pattern of police harassment
continuing at least until April 2001.
SHARK announced the filing by taking the SHARK Tiger video
display truck to the federal courthouse in Waukegan and airing the
most important video evidence for the next two hours–including video
of some of the defendants destroying what they apparently believed
were tapes that might incriminate them.