Joliet City Council member Clement has verbal clash with police at traffic stop

Joliet City Council member Joe Clement was argumentative with police during a late-night traffic stop for running a stop sign May 9, at one point saying, “You guys have all lost your minds,” according a police account and video.

Clement was not ticketed but issued a warning for disobeying a stop sign.

According to the police account and video, Clement also made a U-turn at a red light, claimed that police officials would leak information about the incident to the media to “burn me” and at one point walked away from the officer who made the stop and crossed the street but did not leave the scene.

The traffic stop happened at 11:51 p.m. at Chicago and Clinton streets, in the vicinity of Clement’s downtown residence.

An emailed account of the incident from a police supervisor on the scene and video shows Clement repeatedly using profanity during the stop.

The email account from Lt. Christopher Moore to police command staff states that Clement, when told by the patrol officer why the stop was made, said, “Oh, stop with that (expletive).”

“This is a big nothing burger,” Clement said when asked by the Herald-News to comment about what happened.

Councilman Joe Clement speaks at the Joliet City Council Committee meeting on single-family rentals.  Aug 11, 2022.

He would not discuss the traffic stop.

“I’m not going to trade spitballs with (expletive) on social media,” Clement said. “That is what this is all about. I love the city. I am going to continue to do good work for the city.”

The incident has made its way to a few Facebook pages that comment on goings-on in Joliet city government and politics.

Clement is a retired Joliet police officer and is chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee that reviews matters concerning the police department.

No police report was made because there was no ticket issued, said police spokesman Sgt. Dwayne English.

But there is a citation indicating the warning was issued.

The Herald-News obtained copies of Moore’s email, the citation and squad car video of the traffic stop after a request through the Freedom of Information Act.

The name of the person involved in the traffic stop is redacted from the email and citation. But the documents were provided in a request about a traffic stop involving Clement and are supported by the video.

Moore went to the scene of the incident after the stop was made.

“It is common practice for the watch commander of the shift to be notified when officers come into contact with a prominent citizen such as a councilperson in a law enforcement capacity,” English said in an email when asked why Moore was at the scene.

A backup officer also was there, which English said is regular practice for traffic stops.

Clement was upset that other officers came to the scene, according to Moore’s email.

After being told that he was being issued a warning, Clement said, “All right, make sure you give it to Sherrie Blackburn. Give it to all of ‘em so they can (expletive) burn me,” according to Moore’s email.

Blackburn is a deputy police chief and a member of the department’s command staff.

Clement is heard on the video saying the incident would be leaked to the Herald-News and other media.

Reporter Felix Sarver contributed to this story.