Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Local union president says use of her photo by Illinois Policy Institute “a form of identity theft”
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Local union president says use of her photo by Illinois Policy Institute “a form of identity theft”

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2018

* From the Illinois Policy Institute

* According to AFSCME, the woman on the left is Darneice Cooper, a casework manager with the Illinois Department of Human Services and the president of AFSCME Local 2806

“People e-mailed me and said, ‘You know your picture is on the web site of the Illinois Policy Institute,’” Cooper relates. “I’m like, ‘What? You’ve got to be kidding me.’ So I went on there and sure enough my picture was right there [next to a headline encouraging state workers to quit the union]. Like I’m supporting that caption that they have under my name! I was appalled. I was very upset.”

* Cooper sent the Illinois Policy Institute a letter

To whom it may concern:

I was shocked and dismayed to discover recently that you are using my photo on your website as part of your effort to get employees to drop out of our union. This is a really a form of identity theft—using my image to promote something that is completely wrong in my eyes.

I am a proud AFSCME member, I support my union, and I will never quit standing with my fellow workers.

I was outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus case. Five conservative justices sided with the billionaires and corporate special interests who funded this case – and who fund your organization. They ruled against not just those of us who work in public service, but those we serve every day.

I help make sure some of Illinois’s most vulnerable seniors get the care they deserve. I don’t do what I do to get rich, like our billionaire governor or your corporate donors.

Like my coworkers, I’m in public service because I care about my community. Being in a union gives us a voice and allows us to fight for the resources we need to serve the people of Illinois.

Please remove my photo from your website immediately.

The photo is still there as I write this.

Cooper also appeared in a video. Click here.

I’ve asked the Illinois Policy Institute for comment.

*** UPDATE *** Illinois Policy Institute response…


This photo is licensed through the Associated Press and has been available since May 23, 2012. It was a photo taken by an AP photographer at a public political rally at the Illinois State Capitol. Any concerns about the photograph should be directed to the Associated Press.

…Adding… Heh…

* Related…

* It’s time to opt in - After the Supreme Court ruling, a message to my fellow former fair-sharers: Two very nice union representatives knocked on my door last week. Anticipating an unfavorable ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, they asked me, a “fair share” state employee, to join the union. I didn’t have to think twice. Sign me up, I told them. I’m with you.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Mr.Black - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Has the ILRB officially referred the step matter to the compliance officer?

  2. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    This is nothing new for the IPI, an arm of a Rauner funded agenda to destroy the working class in IL. I hope she sues the IPI and uses the settlement to fight them even more!

  3. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    It seems like false light defamation.

  4. - Dog on Sheffield - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    Ironic that these free speech champions are cooping someone else’s political speech

  5. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    Using the image of an African American woman without permission or compensation. That’s…nice, IPI. Just super. Why don’t you just hoist the rebel flag while you’re at it?

  6. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    To the update:
    Whether or not it is an AP photo doesn’t really matter. It is misleading to use it in this context.

  7. - Albany Park Patriot - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    Nice look for the “institute,” which has a terrible record when it comes to racial sensitivity, hijacking a picture of an African American woman. If you don’t think this is a form of intimidation, you’re not paying attention.

  8. - DeseDemDose - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:15 pm:

    IPI Dog Whistle.

  9. - Iggy - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    =Whether or not it is an AP photo doesn’t really matter=

    actually it does matter its the basis of why IPI will not be taking it down. provide a legal reason why they should do so, and not just because its misleading.

  10. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    rather racist of IPI to insist on the use of a black woman in their anti union ad. It’s perpetuating the image of “angry black woman”. I guess it plays well with the far right nationalists.

  11. - Deadbeat Conservative - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    If IPI had to pull everything that was misleading, they wouldn’t have a website.

  12. - JoanP - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    “Any concerns about the photograph should be directed to the Associated Press. ”

    Really? How is AP responsible for IPI’s misuse of someone’s image?

  13. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    While she may not like it, and I may not blame her, it’s not Identity Theft. Not even close.

    Your right to privacy doesn’t exist in the public domain. Did she accuse whatever newspaper(s) may have run the picture previously of Identity Theft…or…send copies to friends and neighbors?

    I sympathize, but there’s no case here, and it’s not Identity Theft. She was there.

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    It’s the out off context use that’s at issue

  15. - Moby - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    The phrase “pay hikes” seems a little misleading as well.

  16. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Misleading. Noooo
    Not from IPI

  17. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    The AP could use the photo in reporting on the rally because the photo in that context did not portray Ms. Cooper in a false like. In IPI’s use of the photo, it does place Ms. Cooper in a false light.

  18. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    ==It’s the out off context use that’s at issue==

    Then sue them for libel. Not identity theft.

    Good luck with that one too.

  19. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    Maybe trump is on to something regarding libel laws

  20. - Ole General - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    3D chess kid,

    Stick to chess instead of crackpot legal theories. IPI bought the license and the woman was filmed in public. There is zero case here.

  21. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 4:01 pm:

    I think this would have a hard time in court. To prove false light there must be a false statement that is highly offensive to a reasonable person. I don’t see how they are saying or depicting anything false here. They aren’t saying or even implying she doesn’t support the union from where I sit. Also good luck proving malice here when they just bought a stock photo from a public rally. Taking it down because she asked would be a decent thing to do, but I don’t see a legal obligation to do so.

  22. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 4:04 pm:

    “3D chess kid”

    More like BTIA message fail, again. The IPI is using people who are obviously pro-union in the picture, to encourage anti-unionism. It’s so easy to debunk, as is being done by Ms. Cooper.

  23. - Stumpy's bunker - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 4:48 pm:

    DeseDemDose and Honeybear are on it. Expect more of this shrill dog-whistling as IPI and their ilk attempt to boot thousands of people from their precarious toe-hold on middle class life.

  24. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 4:48 pm:

    If propaganda institute had any decency, they’d change the picture on request. Of course, the operative word is decency.

  25. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Tuesday, Jul 10, 18 @ 8:03 pm:

    I think the more likely tort here is Invasion of Privacy, either under the false light or misappropriation of likeness provisions. Much easier to prove than defamation. You don’t have to show actual damage. I think she has a case.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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