mens uggs UI professor says he was acting as journalist while recording in bathroom
CHAMPAIGN A University of Illinois professor arrested Monday night for allegedly videotaping a former unofficial Chief Illiniwek portrayer in a bathroom at State Farm Center has been put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
“If the allegations against Prof. Rosenstein are accurate, they do not comport with the university’s Code of Conduct. Video recording of individuals in a public restroom without permission is an unacceptable violation of personal privacy under any circumstances,” the statement said. “Prof. Rosenstein is being placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into this allegation.”
But Rosenstein, a longtime Chief opponent, said Tuesday he was acting as a journalist and believes he was wrongfully detained by police.
The incident occurred during Monday’s Illini basketball game against Michigan State and also involved Ivan “Alex” Dozier, a UI graduate and a vocal member of the Honor the Chief Society.
Dozier said Rosenstein followed him and others into a bathroom where Omar Cruz the current unofficial Chief portrayer was changing into his costume, and used his phone to tape them. Rosenstein is creator of the award winning 1997 documentary “In Whose Honor?” about the negative effects of Native American imagery in sports. Tuesday.
“Jay Rosenstein has been released and will not be in court. by the arena’s security team. They saw Rosenstein recording a group of people in the hallway of the arena and then follow them into the bathroom, “apparently holding the phone in a way that indicated he was recording,” Wade said.
Police talked with both parties, and the group followed by Rosenstein said they were uncomfortable with his actions and wanted to press charges, Wade said. Rosenstein admitted he was recording the group in the bathroom, and police informed him that was a violation of state law and arrested him, Wade said.
“He indicated to us that he felt a journalistic responsibility to record what was happening at the time,” Wade said, noting that Rosenstein is an outspoken critic of the Chief.
Police did not say that Rosenstein actually filmed anyone using the bathroom.
Wade said the Chief issue had no bearing on the officers’ decision.
“The arrest was based on that very strict interpretation of the statute as they knew it,” he said. “That’s all our officers can really work on.”
Rosenstein released a statement to The News Gazette on Tuesday:
“I am a nationally recognized and international award winning documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist. I believe I was wrongfully detained because of my efforts to investigate whether employees of the State Farm Center are taking an active role in facilitating the appearance of the unapproved Chief Illiniwek.”
Rosenstein also provided a copy of a threatening email he received following reports of the incident Tuesday and said UI police are investigating.
‘Kind of stunned’
Dozier, an agronomist with a startup firm at the UI Research Park, posted about the incident on Facebook late Monday night.
He told The News Gazette on Tuesday that he was standing in the hallway at State Farm Center when he saw Rosenstein apparently using his cellphone camera.
“I wasn’t sure if he saw me,” Dozier said, and as the two men had had some “unpleasant interactions” in the past, he decided to duck into the bathroom. Dozier said his dad and Cruz were already inside preparing for Cruz’s appearance, though that wasn’t mentioned in his Facebook post.
“I went ahead and used the urinal and after I was done, I turned around and there’s Jay with his camera still out,” he said. “I was approaching the sink. He said ‘Ivan, I thought I might find you in here.’ I was kind of stunned and didn’t know what to say.”
Dozier said he wasn’t sure how long Rosenstein had been there and doesn’t know what he actually taped.
“The first thing I did was check to make sure I was covered,” he said.
Dozier said his dad told Rosenstein to leave, and he and another member of the Honor the Chief Society flagged down security.