[This post will serve as the meta-post for all Michael Allison-related content. We welcome submissions to help keep this page timely and on-point, whether that’s a link to a breaking story or a write-up about public official accountability (or lack thereof).]
A mechanic and construction worker by profession, 41-year-old Allison just wanted to work on cars he owned that were parked on private property (his mom’s) in southeast Illinois, yet area bureaucrats, citing a local zoning ordinance, demanded that he register or garage each vehicle. Seeing such measures as nothing more than revenue generators, Allison filed suit against the city. They responded not with open conversation but with harassment from their enforcers – those wearing badges.
Allison openly audio recorded his conversations with the police when they came to the property. Later, when given a court date, he recorded there as well, after being told that no court reporter would be present. When it was discovered that Allison was recording his recorder was seized and he was charged with five counts of felony wiretapping.
Allison has no prior criminal record. If convicted, he faces up to 75 years in prison.
As one commentator correctly noted: “That’s up to 75 years in prison for breaking a law Allison did not know existed, and which he violated in the name of protecting himself from what he saw as an injustice.”
His story is one of many in what’s become known to some as ‘on the job, on the record.’ If a public official is on-duty, being paid by taxpayers, they have no expectation of privacy. In fact, if claims made by public officials about ‘serving the public’ are true, they would welcome recording.
Free Michael Allison group on Facebook
2011. 01.31 – Police Tape: Is Chicago really planning on detaining anyone who records protestor arrests at the G-8 summit? via Slate.com
2011.09.28 – Radley Balko Reports: DA Considers Appeal on Judge’s Ruling about Michael Allison via CopBlock.org
2011.09.20 – Judge Rejects Eavesdropping Charges for Recording Police via Reason.com
2011.09.17 – Strict eavesdropping law ruled unconstitutional in Illinois case via CopBlock.org
2011.09.08 – Life in Prison for Recording Police: Michael Allison Speaks via Infowars.com
2011.09.06 – Misinformation & Distraction: The REAL story of felony eavesdropping charges in Illinois via DisclosureNewsOnline.com
2011.09.04 – Police Accountability Report – Episode 38 – Michael Allison via CopBlock.org
2011.08.03 – 75 Years for Recording Public Officials On Duty!? via CopBlock.org
2011.06.08 – Chicago State’s Attorney Lets Bad Cops Slide, Prosecutes Citizens Who Record Them via HuffingtonPost.com
2011.02.15 – MA’s Wiretapping Statute Targeted by Coalition of Free Speech Advocates via CopBlock.org
2010.12.09 – “The War On Cameras: It has never been easier—or more dangerous —to record the police” via CopBlock.org
Educate yourself and protect your rights! Check out CopBlock.org’s War on Cameras Map