“What happened to me is nothing compared to that young adult” Filmmaker speaks on tense encounter with RPS 205 member
Nicholas Stange hopes the incident brings traction, to other issues.
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Nicholas Stange is no stranger to tense situations. For the past two years, he’s been the man behind the camera, documenting the May 30th Alliance’s journey to justice. “I’ve had a lot of people be angry with me,” said Stange. “You know, I’ve had people threaten to kick my butt.”
But Stange never had an encounter that became physical, until Tuesday night.
“I was kind of shocked, as much as anybody,” said Stange. “But I just kind of kept the camera rolling.”
Stange says he was recording members of May 30th leaving the Rockford School Board meeting, when he also captured a board member apparently walking up to him, and smacking his camera.
“My thing is I usually don’t say anything, I just film,” said Stange. “He’s the one, coming, assaulting me, without any instigation or intimidation, despite what he says.”
The school board member in the video, Michael Connor, abruptly stepped down from the board less than 24 hours after the altercation. In a statement, Connor claims he ‘does not want to be a distraction to the good work and continued progress in the district.’ However, Stange hopes the incident brings traction, to other issues.
“The start of this, really comes back to Paris Moore,” said Stange. “That’s the real tragedy in all this.”
Members of May 30th have been attending school board meetings since early October, after surveillance video reportedly showed a Rockford Police Officer slamming an Auburn High School freshman last year, causing him brain damage. Their demands, include answers.
“What I experienced, I hope this can be used as a vehicle to keep pressure to get justice,” said Stange. Stange says he does not plan on pressing charges against Connor.
School Board President Jude Makulec said in a statement to 23 News, ‘It is incredibly unfortunate that we have been experiencing incivility by visitors to our recent board meetings. In Rockford Public Schools, we have high expectations for our students and staff. We expect any guests and volunteers to align their behavior to those same high expectations, and that includes the seven volunteers serving on the Rockford School Board.’
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