Supremes to Illinois Cops (& Persecutors): Citizens Have Right to Film You In Public

The US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the Cook County state's attorney dismissing her outrageous filing of charges of those filming police in public under Illinois' patently unconstitutional "wiretapping" law. Public officials in Illinois went to great lengths to suppress citizen oversight of law enforcement abuses, formulating a law to protect their outrageous and often criminal conduct.

Police state? Yep, that's Illinois, where these bums will go right back to figuring out new ways to suppress civil rights.

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First Amendment Win: Supreme Court Rejects Attempt to Block Recording of Police Officers

ACLU of Illinois: "... individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police."
by Common Dreams staff
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/26-4

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Illinois that allows the enforcement of a law that blocks recording of police officers on duty.

In rejecting the plea from the Cook County state's attorney to review a May 2012 decision, the Court leaves in place "a federal appeals court’s injunction against the law, which prohibits audio recording of any part or all of a conversation unless all parties agree to the recording," Josh Gerstein reports.

The Chicago Tribune explains that

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in 2010 against Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to block prosecution of ACLU staff for recording police officers performing their duties in public places, one of the group's long-standing monitoring missions.

Opponents of the law say the right to record police is vital to guard against abuses.

Last May, a federal appeals court in Chicago ruled that the law “likely violates” the First Amendment and ordered that authorities be banned from enforcing it.

Harvey Grossman, Legal Director of the ACLU of Illinois, stated in response to the Court's decision:

We are pleased that the Supreme Court has refused to take this appeal. Now, we can focus on the on-going proceedings in the federal district court. We now hope to obtain a permanent injunction in this case, so that the ACLU’s program of monitoring police activity in public can move forward in the future without any threat of prosecution. The ACLU of Illinois continues to believe that in order to make the rights of free expression and petition effective, individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police. The advent and widespread accessibility of new technologies make the recording and dissemination of pictures and sound inexpensive, efficient and easy to accomplish.

While a final ruling in this case will only address the work of the ACLU of Illinois to monitor police activity, we believe that it will have a ripple effect throughout the entire state. We are hopeful that we are moving closer to a day when no one in Illinois will risk prosecution when they audio record public officials performing their duties. Empowering individuals and organizations in this fashion will ensure additional transparency and oversight of public officials across the State.

More info here:
http://www.aclu-il.org/

Unfortunately, lawmakers don't give a hoot

The Illinois eavesdropping law remains on the books, despite the courts ruling against the law. A state senator is holding up the bill that modifies the law in keeping with the recent rulings. The modified law already passed in the IL House. That means that cops can still confiscate your footage and camera, acting on what would be considered "good faith" in enforcing a law that is still on the books. While it's likely you will never be prosecuted nowadays, cops still have the lawful authority to destroy captured footage they don't want seen.

Nonsense

"While it's likely you will never be prosecuted nowadays, cops still have the lawful authority to destroy captured footage they don't want seen. "

No they don't. The court ruling made that clear. Once SCOTUS declined review -- in plain English for those having reading comprehension problems -- the fact that the federal court "ruled that the law “likely violates” the First Amendment and ordered that authorities be banned from enforcing it..." is the operative situation.

The unconstitutional law remains "on the books," but it's dead as a dodo.

First, its current status is "unconstitutional." I realize the Constitution means next to nothing to many these days, including far too many in law enforcement and state's attorney's offices, who seem to think they can pursue an agenda independent of the law and fact. But once SCOTUS leaves in place that legal fact, Illinois can make paper airplanes out of their "law" as that's all it's good for.

Second, I see absolutely no "good faith" exception to this or any other law or legal ruling for the police. Maybe that's the way the "justice" system operates in Champaign County, but once you get beyond the plantation border that is fringed with News-Gazette editorials, things are different.

Third, If the police confiscate anything in the process of even a "good faith" arrest in the belief that they (mistakenly) believe they have authority for, it's EVIDENCE, either against the person it's confiscated from or against the police who unlawfully confiscated it. If there's no arrest, it's also EVIDENCE -- against the officer(s) involved, who have no authority to confiscate anything in the absence of a crime or arrest. Last I checked, destruction of evidence is a felony. Of course, felonious behavior seems all too common among the police in Illinois, so...

Is it really true that some cops believe they have the discretion to dispose of evidence in this state as they see fit? Sorry, that doesn't pass the sniff test. Either you're completely ignorant or are just playing stupid. Your comment sounds like a litany of excuses for a bully hiding behind a badge, but it has nothing to do with the legal status of the Illinois law on eavesdropping. It's a fossil.

Hell Ya!

Sorry but if we give you authority over us, then surprise of all surprises your held to a higher standard. I lost my job due to corruption at the state and the bad economy. If Illinois police want secret police status, Tough Sh*T quit your job Move to Russia Putin needs you now! I'd be happy to replace you! Illinois wire tapping laws encourage corruption at high levels of our government because anybody who gathers evidence of criminal activity in Illinois government can be attacked by the states attorney as retribution!! Illinois wiretapping laws are BS and every corrupt state politician loves the idea that he no longer has to worry about his secretary recording his illegal activities!

Corruption in illinois stopped being cool when Heraldo opened Capone's vault!

I know the majority of police are good people and are not corrupt but support of these types of laws makes it more scary for citizens and good police to come forward and or simply voice their concerns. It creates an environment of fear and as far as I'm concerned the fact that the States Attorney's Office has prosecuted based on these laws makes me question their reputation...

Remember Putin --- Skinny
Quin --- very similar looking but he ate to many polish sausages

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