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Supreme Court Says It's OK To Record Cops In Illinois

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posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:22 PM
reply to post by Lonewulph

Interesting. I personally have a problem with "good cops." Maybe you can think of a way to solve this problem. How to explain it. I had 3 officers for friends. I had listened to their story's and laughed with them. Then suddenly I had major problems which I won't go into with another department and these 3 friends and friends of theirs were willing to do everything in their power to help me knowing the situation. The problem came up because I actually tried to understand what was going on.

To make it short, after my problem was over, the four of us were standing around talking. So I told them three story's from the citizen's point of view. All three of them agreed the cops in all three story's should be arrested. They had broken the law. The problem was those story's were THEIRS. These were good men. Probably good cops. They were good friends. Yet in the normal course of business each of them were in effect terrorizing the public without reason. Even they said so as it was their story's. In fact the problem one had, and all of us had heard the story's but NONE of us until that night realized what it meant, was such that I and the other two officers told him that if he pulled over our daughters for ANYTHING we would kill him. His two fellow officers the next night went to the Sheriff and explained what he was doing resulting in him being told to resign just to join up with another department. Yet all of us had heard his story's about what he was doing and not one of us until that night had realized what it meant. He was a "good cop".

Well, so much for short. How do you get officers to understand what they are doing especially when they think they are doing right? Or that it is ok for them to do it because they ARE THE LAW? How about a simple deal about street justice that goes on all the time. A officer pulls you over, does not like your attitude, and writes you a ticket which requires you to 1. Pay a fine for something you did not do. Normally when money is taken from you when it shouldn't it is called robbery. Or 2. Take off work and go to court, again costing you money you should not have lost and possibly a lot more because depending on the charge you might have to hire a lawyer. Oh and you can tell this is a bogus charge as the officer does not bother to show up. He can be standing in the next room but he knows it was bogus but he GOT YOU so he is satisfied. Oh by the way if you do not show up it is contempt of court and a warrant goes out for you. Why not for the officer? Is he not showing contempt of court by not showing up?

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:29 PM
reply to post by Frogs

Great question, let me hit you in the morning... gotta hit the hay.

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 11:05 PM
The intent of the eavesdropping law was to stop listening in on private conversations. A police officer doing his duty is in the public realm and his open conversations (not via a communications device like a phone) and his actions should not be protected. The only legitimate argument would be for undercover officers whose safety is at stake if their identity was made generally known (not the case here). Kudos to the SC for doing the Right Thing.

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 09:30 AM

Originally posted by Frogs
reply to post by Lonewulph

Though, I'll admit to meeting a few that were among the worst excuses for human beings I've ever met. The old adage about a bad apple making people think the barrel is spoiled comes into play.

Isn't that the truth! I've always felt 80% of leo's here in our department total
Then there's the kinder, gentler folks that just know how to make everyday terrific. After that comes the handful that slip through the cracks, and embarrass the entire department by losing their temper or just doing something stupid and in poor judgement.

Again, what can you do, it is very difficult to find good recruits to sign up for this hitch who themselves are sparkling charming folks with with angelic personalities for the crap pay for somebody else to shoot at, day in day out. The lure of attractive benefits and job security is the only 'bait' they can throw out there.
Another point on hiring...and I'm not speaking about ALL agencies. But there has been a huge trend to hire brand new, still wet-behind-the-ears, college kids with no more life experience than a background in waiting on tables and so on.
How many young, college degree educated, persons has the life experience under their belt to be thrown into the plethora of situations of which they will have to make sound, split second, decisions on?
How would you feel to have this young Marvin Milktoast show up on your doorstep and attempt to sort out your inflamed marital problems in 20 minutes? Issues that took you 18 years to create. How is he going to talk down two giant drunk brutes in a bar that want nothing more than to break you in two? Or how about the naked, and coked up, crazy running down the streets, jumping off cars, and wielding a crow bar.
The hiring trend used to seek to recruit ex-military, prior law enforcement, corrections and the like, no younger than 28. Not anymore, now mostly just a bunch of college kids.

I've always thought that sometimes the arm of the cops that issues media statements doesn't do cops alot of favors. What I mean is when Granny gets tazered, Fido gets shot or little Johnny gets cuffed at the lemonade stand. Often there is public outcry and often the statement is basically, "After review we find that the officer acted in accordance to policy.." It makes it sound like its the policy rather than the exception to zap Granny, shoot Fido and cuff little Johnny when we all know that isn't the case. I've often wondered if public perception would be better if the statement was worded with something like... "We are obviously very sorry that this unfortunate incident occurred and our officers are taught to exercise great restraint with any use of force. However, when Granny pulled the AK-47 our officer had no choice..."
Sometimes they way ya say things can make a difference I think. What do ya think?

Excellent question.
The short answer is the media, generally speaking, manipulates stories in such a way to stir the viewer in a particular way...infuriate them, make them cry, make them laugh....all for their ratings. We refer to this as 'sandbagging'. It's a business and they have plenty of competition, they want a promotion, to make a name for themselves, etc.
For example, during the interview, the PIO (public information officer), will state what happened based on information he has received from all involved. They have to be careful what they say here because, pending an investigation, review of witness, interviews with officers, pondering the evidence, statements given at that point are not known to be completely factual. (keep in mind I'm describing those good agencies), That is why, particularly in high profile cases, pio's will generally hold a press conference at some point afterwards, to make an official statement only after all facts are gathered and disputed.
Those instant interviews made 'on the scene' may in fact also include all of those supporting facts.. just as you laid out in your example. However, the media chooses to only 'air' a portion of the statements, leaving out the other details that would have cleared up those obvious questions and prevented public outcry. The media knows that the crap they stir up increases the number of those who tune in and thus increase their ratings. This is not every incident of course, but most certainly, most of them.
Having said that, what is even worse, is what the media will do when an inflamed, high profile, case has been found to be justified after extensive investigation. They simply, if anything, might run a tiny blurb on page 8 section B, stating that it was found Grannie actually was armed and suicidal. And that will be the end of that.

But what gets me is how do those questionable situations occur in the first place?
Couple of examples here then I will break it down. Standby.

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 10:17 AM
reply to post by Lonewulph

To stay on topic, this is another situation that had there been some type of recording device on the police equipment, it certainly would have been instrumental in sorting out what actually transpired.

"Homeowner being burglarized called 911 and is killed in her own back yard by the responding police."

Classic, let me get your attention media headline. Media makes the report using certain words to already pit you against the police and they just want to shoot and kill....

"... the 84 year old woman was horrified that she felt someone was breaking into her home, fearing for her own life, she called 911 from the safety of her bedroom, then fled out the back door to sneak away to the safety of her neighbors house. One of the officer's outside the house drew his gun, shot and killed her where she stood. She fell to the ground and bled to death instantly.

Okay, let's say you, the reader, are a new cop...fresh out of college and the academy and field training.
You respond to this and while arriving, training is going through your head...
Must save Granny, those bastards where are they, I'll get him.
Approach quietly, no lights no siren, stop the car half a block away, walk in on foot, stay in the shadows...most importantly listen...turn radio down...don't make myself a target. Breathing heavy, be calm. ..gun out..where is he? is he waiting for me? can he see me? getting I doing this right? wife just had a baby,...want to go home tonight..alive... is this the house? move closer toward back yard... is that movement? There's somebody there! He has a gun!
I line up my sights...stand up...shout 'freeze! don't move! police!" he turns toward me ...bad guys know to hit the ground right? POW! silence. Don't rush in. His buddy might be laying in the bushes for me. Move in slow with back up, is he moving? anymore in the house? Get into the house! get to the victim get her out!
Wait! what is this?! Oh my god oh my god.. what have I done!

A family is torn, a grandmother has been killed by the police, there are questions. The media gets the calls and the fight is on who is going to run around with the microphone jammed in somebody's face. The story airs as mentioned above, the fact the grandmother was walking around in the back yard with a gun in her hand extended out in front of her is a fact they don't yet want to reveal until everybody gets good and heated. Then in a blurb they touch on it.."there is word that she may have had on her a small gun she kept in bedroom for protection."
Too late, the kid who shot her is devastated, crying, you don't see this because he is whisked off to be interviewed, relieved of duty pending the mandatory investigation, gun and badge taken away. He goes home to his family, ashamed, heartbroken for taking the life of the very person he was sworn to protect, what can be worse than that, how do you live with that.
The media wont follow how this life changing event mentally and emotionally destroyed this inexperienced kid. How his family is suffering with the scathing media, neighbors looking down their noses at you...them tainted by the slanted media they have been ingesting all day. He knows he has a grandmother, this is horrible, how will you ever respond to a burglary again, even your fellow officers will question your judgement.

After the internal investigation, the media reports in their most shocking tone to an already tainted and inflamed public, that the officer was cleared of any wrong doing. What??!! They cry out.

Why, because the painful truth is the officer's intent was to go in and risk his life to save grandma. His lack of experience and poor judgement cost him a normal future, and the loss of a wonderful human being.
He shot what he thought was an armed burglar turning toward him. Why would/should it be anyone else.. in his mind. Grandma is on the phone with dispatch locked in her back bedroom, keeping us informed of whats going on inside the house right? Oh yes, he will still be civilly sued, it's far from over.

Now, how about the incident where the "blood thirsty 24 year old cop beat the 80 year old man and broke his neck, he's in the hospital in a coma!" It was determined he did not violate policy?! What?!

To understand this you need to understand the 'Use of force continuum'. It's a guide table of what force a cop can use on you based on your actions. It is broken down into incremental levels, starting with Level I... Officer Presence. Yes, officer presence itself is a use of force.
If you walk into a donut shop, and a would be robber sees you and turns and leaves the other way, you just prevented a robbery simply because of your presence. Standing on a street corner may 'force' would-be trouble makers to keep walking. Continued...

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 10:29 AM
This is a crazy deal.

Sometimes I am glad I live in a smaller community. A little wave to the neighbor and rake the yard once in a while and nobody bothers you. The police drive through, I wave because I am not doing anything wrong....

I wider what they would do if I set up a camera in the yard and video taped them driving

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:03 AM
reply to post by Lonewulph

At the top of the continuum is obviously Deadly force. Shoot a bad guy one time or fifty times its still deadly force, run them over with your car, bulldozer, or thow them into a spinning wood chipper, deadly is still authorized. It doesn't matter what method you use to kill someone who is threatening you or someone else with death or great bodily harm.
As we go up the continuum from the bottom level there is "Verbal command." You are the police, you tell them to stand there, not here, don't be too loud at 10pm, drive slower, whatever..You are representing the authority of your city, county, or state. and you are paid to enforce those laws written by the people whether you agree with said laws or not.
But, since YOU are enforcing them, everybody believes YOU agree and support them. Wrong. You are not allowed to state your opinion on some of these stupid laws and ordinances, just do as you're paid to do and enforce them.
But I don't want to arrest the guys who refuse to stop feeding the homeless in the parks. Tuff cookie! do it now or you're fired. Look they are all filming me and cussing out me out, the mean 'policeman', look at him harassing those poor hungry homeless people! Pigs!
Why don't you guys go and cuss out the city officials that are making me enforce that? Go scream your case on the steps on the state capital. I didn't make up this stupid law because I don't like the homeless. Now I have to arrest them because they are ignoring my 'Verbal Command' and won't leave, oh goodie, I will look like a total jerk.

Back to the continuum. You are called to a bar, a drunk man inside is raising hell and wont leave.
You get there and ask him to step outside so you can work things out. He's drunk and belligerent as hell, calling you every name in the book, ef you effing pig and so on. Outside, you convince him to leave, he heads to his car..."uh, hold on there old timer.. you're way to drunk to drive, you got somebody I can call to come get you?"
ef you , you effing this and that. "okay sir, the bar owner doesn't want your car to stay here so we have to tow it okay?"
You, officer, walk over to his car to complete the form and call for the truck. From behind you, here comes pop, screaming #BS! You aint towing anything you effing pig I'll kick yer arse! He slaps a hand on your shoulder following his verbal threat. **STOP**

Where are we at this point on the force continuum? What force are you 'authorized' to use to stop his aggression toward you a law enforcement officer?
To determine what force can be used we must determine what force the suspect is using, he will dictate your actions. Fine.
Is he armed? No. Hands/fists (battery is imminent) coming at you, and a verbal threat, (assault).
Is he complying with verbal instruction? No.
Are you in fear for your life? No. (He is not a football linebacker and I'm not a 5' tall female officer)

On the continuum, against an unarmed aggressor who is threatening to batter you, you may:
Use an approved 'take down' technique such as arm bar, etc. to take him to the ground.
Use your approved chemical agent spray.
Use your approved Taser.
Use your approved Baton (stick), and strike him on his legs and arms until he complies with you verbal commands.

What will you choose to do? As an experienced seasoned LEO you would most likely, call for back up, grab pop by his arms, place him on your car, try to talk sense into him while wrenching his arms behind him to be handcuffed for his obvious offenses.

As an inexperienced, fresh out of college, ex football player, 24 year old you may choose one of your other options instead. Why? Because you are absolutely offended that anyone could ever talk to you like that, and defy your authority by not cooperating with your verbal commands, how dare he disrespect your badge, and.. you're already pissed because he's been cussing you out, spitting all over you, he's pissed himself, you don't want to be there.
So you wrap him up in an arm-bar and take him to the ground. His 80 year old, drunk head hits the ground, fracturing C5, and he stops moving. You call for an ambulance, he's in the hospital in a coma.
Here comes the media lol

Now, did the inexperienced officer act within the scope of the Use of Force Continuum? Yes, he used an arm-bar technique to take the aggressor to the ground and hand cuff him. It authorized at that level. (There really is no pretty way to take someone to jail that does not want to go.)
In the process he got injured because the idiot didn't protect how the old man landed, not that he had to, but an experienced officer would have...usually... depending on the officer.
What else could he have done?
Chemical spray, nah too messy, have to call the FD to decon him afterwards, and it will be in your uniform all night. -Continued

edit on 28-11-2012 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 11:15 AM
reply to post by Lonewulph

Taser? Meh, old guy might die of a heart attack, or fall forward and hit his head

Baton? No way, although it's authorized, somebody will video it, and only that portion will be aired without any explanation, won't look good at all. People will shout 'police brutality'! I'll be smeared all over the media, no way, not me.

So, old man is in the hospital. Media shows photos of poor innocent good citizen, military veteran, laid up in the bed with a neck brace on.
News Flash! Officer was found to not be in violation of any policy! What??

Bottom line. The officer acted in accordance with the use of force continuum. Could he have used better judgment and chose to just overpower the old guy and put cuffs on him? yes. Could he have used an even uglier method to restrain and arrest the old fella, yes to that as well, and would have been exonerated of any investigation.
Did he dodge a civil lawsuit?
Nope, I think it was a $760,000.00 settlement.

It takes me back to the hiring process, training, and supervision.
With proper audio and visual monitoring of officers, bad choices due to inexperience like this can be reduced through learning from previous bad choices recorded in other situations.

Now they are mounting cameras in Tasers that start recording when turned on. Cool

So at least we are on our way.
Hope I was able to somewhat answer your question.
No more questions please, I want to head back over to the science and technology forums thanks!
Nice thread OP! (thanks for the stars) lol

edit on 28-11-2012 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 01:36 PM

Originally posted by JohnPhoenix

Originally posted by tothetenthpower
reply to post by jude11

Not much of a Nazi Mod if I went ahead and let you do that now....

I get what your saying, but the appeals court isn't nearly as significant as the Supreme. Effectively these chaps are sayiing " No, it's not worth discussing, you can video tape cops, good bye."

That's a powerful statement by the highest court in the land.


I dunno.. The Supreme court can overturn / interrupt federal law or or laws in the state where federal laws already exist. It is my understanding, where no federal laws exist, the States can make any law they wish. Could this not be the case.. it's an Illinois state thing and the Supreme court is saying, " I'm not getting involved with this - not our job description because there is no federal law in place for this"

Can someone please answer my question? Thanks!

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