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The Occupiers who are planning to descend on Chicago in May to protest the G8 and NATO meetings can breathe a sign of relief today. The Illinois law which made it a felony to make audio recordings of police officers without their permission has been found unconstitutional by a state judge, who ruled that it could have the effect of criminalizing “wholly innocent conduct.”
As explained by the Chicago Tribune’s Megan Crepeau, “The whole thing hinges on the idea that police officers have an expectation of privacy as they perform a public, taxpayer-funded duty. This law, in effect, punishes the public for holding its officials accountable to a public standard. The original intent — to protect private conversations from being recorded — has nothing to do with that.”
The decision came in the case of an artist named Christopher Drew, who was arrested in December 2009 for selling art without a permit. According to Kevin Gosztola at FireDogLake, “Drew, who has a history of challenging the city’s restrictions on the selling of art, was peddling silk-screened patches for $1 in an act of civil disobedience. A First Amendment lawyer and a team of photographers filmed his arrest. The police let the filming go, and Drew was arrested. When it was time for Drew to face his charges, he found out he had been given a Class 1 felony charge for violating the Illinois Eavesdropping Act and filming his arrest. This meant he faced a possible sentence of fifteen years in prison.”
Originally posted by poet1b
Awesome news. Hopefully this has federal implications.
What I think we need are laws that require the police to tape all encounters and arrrests. Considering how cheap video technology is these days, it is the least they owe the public.
Video recording stops and encounters would be a fantastic tool to end police abuse.
Originally posted by LonelyGuy
Originally posted by THE_PROFESSIONAL
reply to post by xuenchen
This is certainly good news. How come police can record us without our permission and we cannot?
because they don't want us to catch them screwing up, or screwing around. which they do quite a bit.