Illinois Gets With the Times – Lifts Threat of Jail for Filming Police

Last week a judge for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said that eavesdropping legislation, long used by police and their allies to target those who attempted to document their actions, “likely violates” the First Amendment and ordered that authorities be banned from enforcing it.

As Harvey Grossman, legal director of the ACLU noted:

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

This ruling couldn’t be more-timely, considering the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago and the recent passing of Chris Drew, who, along with Michael Allison and Tiawanda Moore, was among the most vocal of individuals pushing back against the unjust legislation.

That doesn’t mean those who film police in Illinois (ranked one of the least-free states) will be free from harassment – as readers of CopBlock know it’s not uncommon for someone wearing a badge to levy ridiculous threats on another person in an attempt to deter them from pointing-out claimed double-standards. But the ruling does mean that the implicit threat of being caged for years simply for filming no longer exists. And that’s a step in the right direction.

The ruling in Illinois is part of a larger trend is toward greater transparency.

Massachussets
In August of 2011 the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals overturned draconian wiretapping legislation that had targeted people like Simon Glik and myself and colleague Ademo Freeman. That ruling essentially communicated that public officials (including police) have no expectation of privacy in the course of their duties.

Maryland
In September of 2010 a judge threw-out a felony wiretapping charge against Anthony Graber, noting thatrecording public events is protected under the First Amendment. Graber had been targeted after posting to YouTube a video of his interaction with Maryland State Police employee Joseph D. Uhler.

For more, check out CopBlock’s War on Cameras Map & the related links above


California Highway Patrol Stratton Round Brim Straw Hat w/ Box CHP Size 7 1/8 picture

California Highway Patrol Stratton Round Brim Straw Hat w/ Box CHP Size 7 1/8

$285.00



NYPD BASEBALL Cap HAT - New York Police Department - Adjustable picture

NYPD BASEBALL Cap HAT - New York Police Department - Adjustable

$6.99



Vintage Police Chief Uniform Hat, Old CHP style picture

Vintage Police Chief Uniform Hat, Old CHP style

$275.00



HESSEN GERMAN NOSTALGIC POLICE DEUTSCHE POLIZEI HAT GERMANY picture

HESSEN GERMAN NOSTALGIC POLICE DEUTSCHE POLIZEI HAT GERMANY

$24.99



California State Police Cap Piece - Blue - Factory Error Hat Badge picture

California State Police Cap Piece - Blue - Factory Error Hat Badge

$25.00



American Flag Blue Line Hat Chicago Police Department  picture

American Flag Blue Line Hat Chicago Police Department

$19.99



New Jersey State Police Hat Patch ~ Approximately 3” Tall picture

New Jersey State Police Hat Patch ~ Approximately 3” Tall

$4.95



POLICE THIN BLUE LINE HAT LAPEL PIN BADGE POLICE SERVICE HAT OR LAPEL PIN  picture

POLICE THIN BLUE LINE HAT LAPEL PIN BADGE POLICE SERVICE HAT OR LAPEL PIN

$9.99



Punisher Blue Line Cuffed Knit Hat-11075 picture

Punisher Blue Line Cuffed Knit Hat-11075

$14.99



Illinois State Police Dept. Law Enforcement Brown Snap-Back Med Hat Brown VTG picture

Illinois State Police Dept. Law Enforcement Brown Snap-Back Med Hat Brown VTG

$40.00



Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.