CHICAGO (CN) – A grieving family claims that a Public Broadcasting Service camera crew barged into a private funeral ceremony at a church after learning that the dead woman was the mother of an alleged gang leader. The family claims that the PBS crew filmed their mother’s body, and intruded upon them as they mourned, to get film for the PBS show “Frontline.”
The daughter and grandson of the late Annie Gibson Bacon also sued CeaseFire, a violence-prevention group, and five individuals: the camera crew, a member of CeaseFire, and employee of PBS/Frontline.
Elnora Luten, daughter of the late woman, says the defendants barged into the funeral at the Prince of Peace Apostle Church on the South Side of Chicago on March 13. They claim that PBS, “Frontline,” and CeaseFire collaborated on the intrusion.
The defendants did it because the late woman’s son, Jeff Fort, “has been alleged to be the leader of a street gang,” Luten and her son say.
The family says they hired a private company to film the funeral for their own remembrance. Only after the funeral, they say, did they learn “through discussion with members of the authorized and lawfully employed film crew that defendants had illegally and unlawfully filmed the funeral.”
The family demands damages for tortious intrusion upon seclusion and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They are represented in Cook County Court by Stephen Richards.