DeKALB – The man behind the widely viewed video of a police officer losing his temper at a police safety checkpoint last weekend is 27-year-old DeKalb resident Ryan S. Taylor.
Taylor, of the 800 block of West Hillcrest Drive, declined to be interviewed by the Daily Chronicle, but court records show he has had a few run-ins with DeKalb police in the past two years. Prosecutors recently tried to revoke his court supervision in a 2012 drunken driving case, and he since has been charged with unlawful use of a credit card and domestic battery, court records show.
Taylor posted a video of his encounter with two Illinois State Troopers as he drove through a police checkpoint set up Saturday night into Sunday morning in DeKalb.
The video spread like wildfire once it was posted online Sunday. It was posted to Reddit, embedded in numerous websites, and viewed on YouTube more than 120,000 times through Monday.
It prompted DeKalb police to clarify on their Facebook page that their officers were not depicted in the video; DeKalb City Attorney Dean Frieders repeated that clarification at Monday’s City Council meeting. Taylor was a guest Wednesday morning on a Springfield talk radio show appearing as “Ryan Scott,” and by Wednesday afternoon, the number of YouTube views surpassed 540,000.
When reached via Facebook message through the Ryan Scott account, Taylor acknowledged the pending 2013 credit-card fraud case in DeKalb County, and that he had at least one other pending criminal case. He declined to be interviewed by the Daily Chronicle. He did not explain why he used different names on the Facebook and YouTube accounts, but the names, birth dates and addresses in all three court cases match.
In the credit-card case, Taylor is accused of making a payment to his Paypal account with a woman’s credit card without her permission in June 2013, court records show. Taylor’s boss provided his defense a letter indicating Taylor was a delivery driver at a local restaurant and that the restaurant allowed him to swipe customer credit cards using his smartphone and transfer the money at the end of his shift from his Paypal account to the restaurant, which is what his boss said happened in the June 2013 incident, court records show.
In the domestic battery case, Taylor is accused of punching his roommate twice in the face June 27, court records show. Both the credit-card and domestic-battery cases are next due in court Oct. 22.
In a video posted to his Facebook page Tuesday, Taylor tried to clarify why he shot the video of the checkpoint, which police operated from 9 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at Annie Glidden Road south of Hillcrest Drive.
“I think people are thinking I am just some punk kid with a malicious agenda,” Taylor said. “That is not at all the case. In the case of my video, that was a demonstration; it was a peaceful protest. It was a demonstration of how to exercise your constitutional rights. I was not there to instigate anyone or make anyone angry or anything.”
The checkpoint video shows Taylor asking an Illinois State trooper if he is being detained. The trooper states he is legally able to stop Taylor, and Taylor said he believes the stop is unconstitutional. Taylor said he is not obligated to provide his driver’s license and registration to the officer.
Then, a second officer opens Taylor’s door and yells, “You are obligated. Get out now. Get out now. Driving is a privilege, not a right. I’m telling you to get out right now.”
Taylor said he is not resisting, and hands over his license and registration as the officer continues to talk to him with the door open. Taylor eventually said he would like to exercise his Fifth Amendment right. The officer asks if Taylor knows what that means, then shuts Taylor’s door.
Illinois State Police said more than 270 cars were stopped during the checkpoint, which was operated in cooperation with Northern Illinois University and DeKalb police. There were 16 citations issued, two written warnings and no DUI arrests, police said.
Police could not confirm the identity of the person in the video, saying there was no reason to document the license a trooper reviewed during the encounter. State police officials have said they would continue to review the incident, although they said in a statement Monday that, based on the information available at the time, it did not appear that the officer violated any policy.