Charges filed after men pointed guns at CPD surveillance camera during video shoot, cops say

Michael Russell | CPD

Brandishing guns while recording a music video on the streets of Old Town is not the smartest idea. But surely the stars of the video wouldn’t intentionally point their guns at a CPD “blue light camera,” right?


Prosecutors say that’s exactly what the men did last Friday evening.

Cops assigned to the 18th (Near North) Police District’s camera operations center saw the video shoot unfold on the 1300 block of North Hudson around 7:40 p.m. The area is easily the most violent part of the local police district. At least seven people have been shot this year within a block of the spot where the men were filming.

The camera operators sent patrol officers to the scene, and the beat cops managed to arrest one of the video stars.

Prosecutors charged Michael Russell, 18, with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, ammunition possession, and resisting police. An assistant state’s attorney said Russell was seen pointing a gun at the CPD surveillance camera during the video shoot. And officers allegedly found a loaded 40-caliber handgun in his pants along with two live rounds of ammunition.

According to the state, Russell struggled with the arresting officers, and one of those cops had to go to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Russell’s public defender, Courtney Smallwood, said he is a full-time high school student. Judge Charles Beach set bail at $10,000. Russell posted a $1,000 deposit bond and went home to await trial. However, Beach ordered him to stay inside his home on a monitoring device from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

None of the other men who allegedly pointed guns at the police camera were caught.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is