Despite claims by Anita Alvarez, the Cook County state attorney, who tried to maintain that the First Amendment doesn’t protect those recording police officers in public places, juries, courts, and the court of public opinion have sided with logic – that individuals in Illinois are free to record police employees.
Alvarez’s ally in the campaign to deter people from capturing the truth – objective records of police interactions – was unsurprisingly the union which those police employees belong. The rationale stated by those involved with the Fraternal Order of Police was that people might only post excerpts of police interactions. Well – even if that happened, if those wearing badges acted professionally and with integrity what do they have to hide?
Remember, we’re talking about individuals who have chosen an occupation founded on double-standards. Despite claims of “serving and protecting”, their very salary is paid for with stolen money. The police institution simply lacks the proper incentives for its agents to be accountable. That’s why filming their actions is so key.
As Harvey Grossman, legal director of the ACLU noted:
…individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police. In an age when almost everyone carries or has access to a smartphone, the recording and dissemination of pictures and sound is inexpensive, efficient and easy to accomplish. In short, the technology makes almost anyone a citizen journalist, deserving of protection under the First Amendment.
HAVE A SMARTPHONE?
Visit CopBlock.org/Apps to learn about, download, and utilize streaming apps to protect yourself and others.
A streaming app can help protect you as the content is stored offsite, which means the truth – the evidence captured – is preserved, and can’t be deleted should you or your device be snatched-up by someone eager to hide their misdeeds.
- New developments in state’s controversial eavesdropping law 2013-04-09 via ABCLocal.go.com
- Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction Issued in Eavesdropping Case 2012-12-21 via ACLU-IL.org
- Illinois Gets With the Times – Lifts Threat of Jail for Filming Police 2012-05-15 via CopBlock.org
- Seventh Circuit Says Citizens Have a Right to Record the Police 2012-05-09 via blogs.Findlaw.com
- Court Strikes Blow To Illinois Eavesdropping Law 2012-05-08 via HuffingtonPost.com
- Victims & Heroes: The Fight for Our Right to Record Police 2012-03-05 via Tiki-Toki.com
- Eavesdropping law unconstitutional, court says 2012-03-03 via ChicagoTribune.com
- State’s eavesdropping law faces growing challenges 2012-01-02 via ChicagoTribune.com
- 75 Years for Recording Public Officials On Duty!? 2011-08-03 via CopBlock.org
- Chicago State’s Attorney Lets Bad Cops Slide, Prosecutes Citizens Who Record Them 2011-06-08 via HuffingtonPost.com
- The Government’s War on Cameras! 2011-05-26 via YouTube.com/ReasonTV
- Is Illinois Taking an Artist to Trial to Silence an Outspoken Critic or You? 2011-03-11 via CopBlock.org
- Illinois woman faces 15 years in prison for trying to hold cop accountable 2011-01-24 via CopBlock.org
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