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Christopher Drew, a 60-year-old school teacher, faces 15 years in prison for taping a conversation he had with a police officer.  (Source: José Moré/Chicago News Cooperative)

The Chicago police had 10,000 complaints of brutality, assault, and other wrong-doing filed against them between 2002 and 2004.  (Source: AFP/Getty Images)

  (Source: OBEY Images)
Class 1 Felony of recording a conversation is just below the prison time you'd spend for murder

We've often written on the disconnect between current laws and the reality of the digital age.  When a person gets charged over a million dollars for pirating and sharing a few songs, and a robber stealing a dozen CDs might have to a pay a few hundred in fines, the system can seem incredibly flawed at times.

Another example of this disconnect that has recently been brought into sharp focus include laws that police are using to try to prosecute those that digitally record their actions.  We already covered how police in some areas can arrest you, if you videotape or photograph them in a public or private setting.  Well, in some areas they can arrest you for even recording an audio conversation.

Illinois is one of the states with the toughest laws against audiotaping a conversation between you and another party without their knowledge.  The law [text] states that you can face up to 15 years in prison for committing the offense. 

Christopher Drew, a 60-year-old artist and teacher living in Chicago, is facing the charge after audio taping a conversation he had with the police.  In an interview with The New York Times, he remarks on his potential 15 years of hard prison time, "That's one step below attempted murder."

He adds, "Before they arrested me for it. I didn’t even know there was a law about eavesdropping. I wasn’t trying to sue anybody. I just wanted somebody to know what had happened to me."

He is not alone.  Other Chicago residents, including Tiawanda Moore, a 20-year-old former stripper, face similar charges.  They all have one thing in common -- their charges follow audio taping conversations with police.  The law is seldom applied in other situations – in fact, most don't even know it exists.  The law even makes it a lesser offense to tape a civilian once (a Class 4 felony) or twice (a Class 3 felony), versus taping a law enforcement officer (a Class 1 felony).

Ms. Moore's story is among the most alarming.  She is being charged with the Class 1 felony of eavesdropping using a digital device after recording on her Blackberry a conversation she had with two internal affairs officers.  The conversation occurred during her attempt to report a separate police officer for sexual harassment.  Now she's set for a February 7 trial in Cook County Criminal Court and may spend more than a decade in prison.

Contrast this state of affairs with the fact that Chicago police officers have one of the most stained reputations for police brutality.  According to a 2007 CNN report, 10,000 complaints -- many of them involving brutality and assault -- were filed between 2002 and 2004.  

Along with laws against video taping police in public, the measures against video and audio taping police encounters seem like a concerted effort to chain the hands of the citizenry and prevent them from reporting misconduct and wrongdoing.  Without direct evidence, claims are often discarded and laughed out of court.

The Illinois branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) fought the law -- it has sued the state of Illinois twice -- but the law won.  Its case, which asserted that the eavesdropping law violates the First Amendment and hinders citizens from monitoring the public behavior of police officers and other officials, has been thrown out of court twice.  

Mark Donahue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said his organization cheered the decision, stating that he "absolutely supports" throwing those who tape police officers behind bars.

He complains that citizens monitoring police activities for wrongdoing might "affect how an officer does his job on the street."

As Ms. Moore and Mr. Drew contemplate on what their life might be like spending the next decade and a half on a prison cot, many in other states face similar situations.  Massachusetts and Oregon both make it illegal to digitally record (i.e. "eavesdrop") on an officer.  And a number of states are considering similar legislation.

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By omnicronx on 1/24/2011 2:34:10 PM , Rating: 5
He complains that citizens monitoring police activities for wrongdoing might "affect how an officer does his job on the street."
In what? A positive way? I would love for this man's explanation as to how keeping an officer of the peace accountable for his/her actions is a bad thing?

Lets be frank, this serves no other purpose than to let police officers get away with performing illegal activities and at the same time essentially assuring that nobody will be able to prove otherwise.

RE: Ha
By Ammohunt on 1/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ha
By MozeeToby on 1/24/2011 4:17:25 PM , Rating: 5
Five armed police officers should not require "56 baton blows and six kicks" to subdue a suspect, regardless of how much he is struggling. That isn't an arrest, it's a beat down. In any context.

"11 skull fractures, permanent brain damage, broken [bones and teeth], kidney damage"

"nurses reported that the officers who accompanied King openly joked and bragged about the number of times King had been hit."

Yeah, permanent brain damage... hilarious.

RE: Ha
By AssBall on 1/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ha
By AssBall on 1/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ha
By vol7ron on 1/24/2011 10:19:45 PM , Rating: 1
The justified reason is undercover officers, which are pursuing an active investigation - similar to how the FBI just brought down a bunch of the mob the other day.

Another reason is news reporters releasing important information before the police have time to follow-up and act on it, which could help criminals get away. For instance, there was a lot of information not released to the public in the DC sniper case.

RE: Ha
By Jeffk464 on 1/25/2011 1:50:04 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, but you cant deny our freedoms because it is convenient.

RE: Ha
By snakeInTheGrass on 1/31/2011 3:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, so the undercover officers can record/edit all they want, but heaven help us if anyone else does the same? If something is out of context, then demand release of the whole tape.

A news reporter releasing something is a different case anyway - they can use freedom of the press to put stuff out as long as they can't be shown to have broken the law themselves.

I don't think you're saying these justifications make sense anyway (If I sound unhappy, it's not with you! ;) ), I think you're just stating some of the given reasons, but when someone can get 15 years for recording a cop harassing them, there's something very wrong with the system. Like the cops and the system. Clearly the cited examples in the story aren't about someone blowing an investigation or reporting on news, but are more about cops not having to obey the law themselves, and at the very least they need to modify these laws to make them only apply in those sub-cases, not broadly as they do today.

It's fine for the police to record us all they want - if we're part of the same events, it damned well should be fine for people to record as well to protect themselves from abuse.

RE: Ha
By xrodney on 1/25/2011 1:19:40 AM , Rating: 5
56 baton blows and six kicks - That sounds more like attempt for murder.

Laws in US allways were joke but now its getting really ridiculous.

In most countries those would end up in jail for 10-20 years term.

If us want to get below 3rd word then all I can say is good job in doing that.

RE: Ha
By AssBall on 1/25/2011 1:39:04 AM , Rating: 2
in most countries King would have already been serving several years in jail before he got his ass kicked.

RE: Ha
By phxfreddy on 1/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ha
By raelalt on 2/1/2011 3:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
That's nice Homer, now go back to sleep.

RE: Ha
By ekv on 1/25/2011 6:21:07 AM , Rating: 4
Are you serious? Do you really want to try to somehow portray Rodney King as the victim, the righteous poster-child deserving special consideration and kid-glove treatment ... ? You might want to re-think that.

If, however, you want to use the Rodney King situation to justify videotaping, then fine. I'd agree ... to a certain extent.

RE: Ha
By nafhan on 1/24/2011 3:20:54 PM , Rating: 1
I wholeheartedly agree with you.

I can, however, think of cases where recorded video or audio of legal and justified police activity can lead to harm for police officers. Things like revenge and perceived racism come to mind. Again, not agreeing with the law at all (I don't) just pointing out the types of arguments probably used to pass them.

RE: Ha
By rs2 on 1/24/2011 5:46:54 PM , Rating: 5
Forget the police officers for a second. Where's the extension to this law that says that I can send anyone who tapes me without my permission to jail for 15 years? Why are the police the only ones entitled to privacy?

RE: Ha
By lowsidex2 on 1/24/2011 10:28:30 PM , Rating: 5
Beyond that.. they freely record me when I get pulled over without my permission. Why aren't they in jail? Oh yeah.. I forgot.. they are the police.

RE: Ha
By Solandri on 1/25/2011 3:18:20 AM , Rating: 5
To turn an oft-used argument on its head, "If the police had nothing to hide, they wouldn't mind being videotaped."

And the standard counterargument of presumption of innocence does not apply in this case since they are public servants and we, as their employers, have the right to monitor their work performance.

RE: Ha
By Jeffk464 on 1/25/2011 1:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
I like the camera in the cop cars, it protects you from the cops as much as it helps them in prosecuting cases.

RE: Ha
By Lazarus Dark on 1/25/2011 7:38:50 PM , Rating: 3
In most places, the officer is in charge of the tape/ hard drive. They can usually delete it if they want. Or "lose" it.

RE: Ha
By tmouse on 1/25/2011 8:05:39 AM , Rating: 3
Actually its here:

Class X 6 years 30 years
Class 1 4 years 15 years
Class 2 3 years 7 years
Class 3 2 years 5 years
Class 4 1 year 3 years

So it would fall between 1-5 years. They mention it's a class 4-3 felony for civilian to civilian offences. Keep in mind these laws were originally to be for eavesdropping. So in that context one can see how bugging police stations and such would be a serious offence. Their current interpretation is bizarre to say the least. These laws also can affect you across state lines so do not tape any phone conversations unless you clearly state at the beginning the conversation is being monitored. The weird thing many of these laws now forbid taping even after notification for the police and often tie in with interfering with the duties of the police which is a bizarre stretch to say the least.

RE: Ha
By MrBlastman on 1/25/2011 11:11:08 AM , Rating: 2
The solution is simple: Make the same penalties apply to the police if done in reverse.

i.e. If an officer pulls you over and doesn't inform you immediately you are being taped with a dash camera and recorded via a mic, you can then go in front of the Judge at the local traffic court and request they prosecute the officer for illegally recording you.

If they can do it to us, we should be able to do it to them. This is utter crap and reciprocity is the only solution to it.

If they want to shove ridiculous sentences down on us, they should have it done to them. Perhaps, after they discover their "due process" is being hampered because all of the evidence they have to put people behind bars all of a sudden could put THEMSELVES behind bars, they might re-think the absurdity of what they are trying to do.

Of course, this would only work in a non-corrupted system, something that is impossible in Chicago and even in the town I live in, Atlanta. Corruption runs deep in all of the systems, both with the Police and the judges.

RE: Ha
By Jeffk464 on 1/25/2011 1:56:34 PM , Rating: 1
It comes down to expectation of privacy, basically when you are in public you have none and the cops should have none. If you are bugging the police department that is obviously not considered a public place. Just like the police have to get a warrant to tap your phone, bug your house, etc.

RE: Ha
By tmouse on 1/26/2011 8:19:21 AM , Rating: 3
Wrong, all municipal buildings are considered public places; you can have access restrictions in public places. I'm not in disagreement with most of your statement but one exclusion I could think of is an arrest by undercover officers were not all of the parties will be arrested. There public recording of the event would most definitely hinder police action and even endanger the lives of the officers and possibly their families. Photos are worse than memories for exposing these people. Now I totally agree it should be ok to record uniformed officer’s doing there duties.

RE: Ha
By Lerianis on 1/25/2011 6:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
nafhan, with all due respect, if a person takes a PICTURE of a cop from 200 yards or more away with a telescopic lens, there can be 'revenge'. Hell, that can even be done just by STANDING OUTSIDE OF A POLICE STATION or nearby with a pair of binoculars and following a person home.

There comes a time where the right of the CITIZENRY to make sure that the police and other civil servants are not abusing their power TRUMPS the rights of the officers.

To me and most sane Americans.... this is the point!

RE: Ha
By zixin on 1/24/2011 3:50:13 PM , Rating: 5
I think the quote is taking out of context. I think he probably refer to taping as a whole will "affect how an officer does his job on the strett" not just the wrong doings. Still, I thought there was a federal whistle blower law that should protect people from prosecution if their tapings prove wrong doing.

RE: Ha
By omnicronx on 1/24/2011 4:22:30 PM , Rating: 4
I'm sure the quote was taken out of context ;)

The problem is, I don't agree with him regardless of context. Otherwise, why do we have cameras on the front of police vehicles?

Its a double standard, cameras are only protection to the police when they are the ones in control.

Laws like these do nothing, just as movie theaters laws of the same nature do nothing. If someone is going to video tape something for an illegal activity, they are going to do it discretely and they are probably going to pull it off. Whether laws like these exist or not. It punishes the public and does not punish those whom the law was meant to apply to.

RE: Ha
By tmouse on 1/25/2011 8:32:53 AM , Rating: 3
Your movie theater analogy is bizarre to say the least. By that line of reasoning it would be ok to commit a crime if you do it openly? There the law says you cannot copy a copyrighted item without permission period. So someone openly taping is no less guilty then someone doing it in secret. It’s foolish to say we should not have laws because people will break them and only those that follow them will be hindered. In this case it’s the court accepted interpretation that’s weird. The law is not a no police taping law it’s an anti-eavesdropping law that can make sense in one context but not in its current context. In theory if they stated they were taping the conversation the police would have the choice to accept or stop talking after notification no charges could be filed. Now some places have different laws where taping could be considered interfering with the duties of a police officer (I really do not see how these outside of special undercover arrests cases could withstand serious judicial challenge).

RE: Ha
By xrodney on 1/25/2011 3:18:14 PM , Rating: 1
One thing is eavesdropping and other one recording your own conversation. I dont really see any problem with recording anything you want as long as you are part of it or its on your own property (unless you are renting it to someone).

Seriously if someone sent you mail its keeping copy in mail server and your computer. If you visit someone else house equipped with video security then you are being recorded. If you go to public places, shop or bank you are again being recorded.

Have no idea why if someone engage any type of communication with your person they should accept risk that that communication could be recorded.

RE: Ha
By tmouse on 1/26/2011 8:10:33 AM , Rating: 4
Depends on the state. In some states only one party needs to know in others both have to know. In your example, by mail, I'm assuming you mean e-mail which has NO legal expectation of privacy at this time outside of a third person illegally accessing the system (which is illegal system access not really reading the e-mail per se). Whoever owns the hardware is as much of an owner as the sender or recipient. ALL states that require two party notifications also requires a public notice be posted clearly on the premises that you are being recorded if the cameras are not in plain sight. Two party notification states work upon the premise that the communication is private and will not be disclosed to a third party without consent of both parties unless there is a court order in place, right or wrong that’s their premise so they can adapt a law to it. Now as I stated earlier if you tell the police you want to record the conversation then I do not see where you should be stopped from doing so. Everything a uniformed police officer does in the course of his official duties should be a matter of public record.

RE: Ha
By walk2k on 1/24/2011 3:54:00 PM , Rating: 5
video a policeman? GO TO JAIL!!

bring a M16 to a town hall meeting? oh no that's fine.

RE: Ha
By AssBall on 1/24/2011 6:00:06 PM , Rating: 1
It wouldn't hurt my feelings if everyone in Chicago went to jail.

RE: Ha
By Samus on 1/24/2011 9:18:59 PM , Rating: 5
I lived in Chicago for years. The corruption and lawlessness is ridiculous. Traffic moving violations virtually don't exist, the police don't even write DUI's because the paperwork is too time consuming. A lot of the time they are drunk themselves. The entire city is unbelievably corrupt from top to bottom. The racism is rampant as well. If you're a middle-aged white male like myself, the police will never bother you, no matter what traffic laws, drug laws, or any other non-violent laws you violate. If you're a black teenager, I feel for you.

The city is completely fucked up. Thank God the mayor (Daley) wont be in power much longer but I question any replacement mayor's ability to fix the city as much as I question Obama's ability to fix the country.

RE: Ha
By michaelklachko on 1/25/2011 3:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
"The entire city is unbelievably corrupt from top to bottom."

It's funny. I wish you lived in countries where corruption is the norm. That would be an eye-opener.

RE: Ha
By 0ldman on 1/26/2011 12:13:00 AM , Rating: 3
I'm pretty sure Chicago is in the US.

Corruption in the US just has a little spit and shine...

Honestly, if someone put forth the effort to dig up the info and had a way to enforce it, I'd be willing to bet that 90% of our politicians/govt employees have done something while in office that should have caused them to lose office.

It is ridiculous and they are the ones in power.

To be in office is suppose to be one of the ultimate acts of service, not a power trip.

RE: Ha
By RaulF on 1/24/2011 7:58:29 PM , Rating: 4
You are right, that icky gun might just jump off his shoulders and start shooting people.

Have to be careful, don't you they are called assault rifles. They go off on people all the time for no reason.

Oh, what does that have to do with this.

RE: Ha
By mcnabney on 1/25/2011 1:43:49 AM , Rating: 3
Just like in Arizona.

RE: Ha
By ekv on 1/25/2011 5:49:50 AM , Rating: 5
Rahm Emanuel: You never want a serious crisis to go to waste

RE: Ha
By Schrag4 on 1/25/2011 1:27:47 PM , Rating: 4
To be fair, a gun didn't randomly start shooting people in Arizona. A deranged man did. So the original, sarcastially made point still stands.

RE: Ha
By 91TTZ on 1/25/2011 2:49:27 PM , Rating: 3
In Arizona the gun went off all by itself? Damn, CNN told me that there was a nutcase that planned this whole thing out and meant to do it.

RE: Ha
By MrBlastman on 1/25/2011 2:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
Umm... It's totally within my right to carry my Steyr AUG (assault rifle for those who don't know) with me if I please, slung to my back, loaded with a 42-round magazine in the mag well. I can even have my holographic sight attached to it also.

All of this, where I live (Georgia) is totally legal, provided I have a carry permit as an added precaution (I do).

However, If I walk into a church carrying said weapon, or even a concealed one, I get to go to jail. If I walk into a public gathering with such weapons, I get to go to jail also. Our laws are pretty goofy here and are actually a result of jim-crowe laws from back in the day to oppress the less fortunate.

But, like the news fails to report, it was the nut behind the gun that killed the people in Arizona, not the Glock and not the 30 round magazine in it either. It was the people there that stopped him that day, and if some of them were carrying, he would have probably been stopped a lot sooner.

But yeah, we should be able to record the police just as much as they can record and conduct surveillance on us.

RE: Ha
By thurston on 1/25/2011 7:09:50 PM , Rating: 2
Umm... It's totally within my right to carry my Steyr AUG (assault rifle for those who don't know) with me if I please, slung to my back, loaded with a 42-round magazine in the mag well. I can even have my holographic sight attached to it also.

My you must have a large penis. (I know what a Steyr AUG is)

All of this, where I live (Georgia) is totally legal, provided I have a carry permit as an added precaution (I do).

You can do that where I live too, no permit required.

But, like the news fails to report, it was the nut behind the gun that killed the people in Arizona, not the Glock and not the 30 round magazine in it either. It was the people there that stopped him that day, and if some of them were carrying, he would have probably been stopped a lot sooner.

Maybe Fox new didn't report that Jared Loughner did the shooting but every news channel I saw reporting it did. I agree that guns don't kill people by themselves but I don't think if a bunch of people there started pulling guns it would have made the situation any better. How would you know who to shoot?

I am a gun owner myself but the second amendment is not very clear.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

What does a well regulated militia mean?

If the amendment gives people the right to individually keep arms why can't I have a nuclear weapon if I wish? The amendment makes no mention of limits to the potential power of the arms I am allowed to bear. It seems the founding fathers wanted us to have the right to bear arms to be able to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government. If that's the case then I should definitely be able to have any sort of weapon I want.

And on a final note I will quote Lynyrd Skynyrd from the song Saturday Night Special.

Handguns are meant for killin, ain't no good for nothin else.

RE: Ha
By Maiyr on 1/26/2011 1:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
Let me say that I am VERY pro gun. However this is scary, "and if some of them were carrying, he would have probably been stopped a lot sooner". Can you imagine if a few people had been carrying and decided that they needed to stop the violence. Yes, they would have been attempting to prevent a foreceable felony, but they likely would have shot innocent bystanders thereby increasing the body count. If there were any carrying they did the right thing by getting the f*** out of there and going home safely to their families.


RE: Ha
By lagomorpha on 1/29/2011 1:07:34 AM , Rating: 3
Which Georgia are you talking about, the one by Alabama or the one by Russia? Because to be considered an "assault rifle", the firearm needs selective fire. If your rifle has selective fire then you need a Title 3 permit in Alabama-Georgia and the firearm had to have been in the nation before the ban was implemented (except for a small number of firearms that were given special licenses because the owners were friends of congressmen but that's another story...)

RE: Ha
By Adonlude on 1/25/2011 1:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
I am outraged! The police can video and audio record us with their dash cams and personal recorders but we go to jail for recording them. I hope this goes to the supreme court and gets struck down.

Those in public service are the ones that should be monitored, especially the enforcement arm, but not citizens! They are OUR employees, whe have to monitor their performance and they have to answer to US! Not the other way around.

RE: Ha
By Jeffk464 on 1/25/2011 1:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was thinking, it will stop them from beating the crap out of people. Utah has an officer that has been on administrative leave for 6 months for punching a 54 year old woman in the face 5 times. Nope filming the police is absolutely essential to curtailing bad cop behavior. If not for the filming of Rodney King being beaten LAPD would not have been forced to change as quickly as they did. It is a fact that cops cover for each other, so without civilian oversight there is almost no check on them.

When did americans become alright with living under a police state anyways?

RE: Ha
By mars2k on 1/25/2011 3:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
Right, Wrong is wrong, this unbelievable. I'm no gun enthusiast but the rational behind having the right to have a gun is to arm yourself against the government. I say no matter what, film the cops if for no other reason than to keep them in line. If all policemen were perfect then no problem but they're not. In fact lots of nuts are drawn to the force for the express purpose of being free to bully others. They account to no one. Film them all and the good ones have nothing to worry about.

RE: Ha
By Lerianis on 1/28/2011 2:42:32 PM , Rating: 2
I would say that only about 1/3rd of cops are in it to 'protect society' (and by that, they usually mean "force my morality on the rest of society through fiat of law"). The rest are in it to force their 'authoritay!' on people!

10,000 complaints, compared to what?
By fbrdphreak on 1/24/2011 3:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
According to a 2007 CNN report, 10,000 complaints -- many of them involving brutality and assault -- were filed between 2002 and 2004.

OK - but how does this compare to the national average? 10,000 might not be anything significant.

RE: 10,000 complaints, compared to what?
By HrilL on 1/24/2011 3:55:42 PM , Rating: 4
Maybe that is the problem then. Really there shouldn't be any complaints filed if these officers are in fact operating within the law.

These laws seem completely unconstitutional. There is no expectation of privacy in a public location. Why should police be allowed to have privacy while the public can't?

These laws seem to say without their knowledge. So do you record while letting them know you're recording? Or do you start afterward? In that case what proves that you let them know? Record and let them know seems like the best option since you've got proof you've let them know.

Police are supposed to serve and protect the public and are accountable to the public. We should have the right to record them in any and all situations. They record us so its only logical to have a recording from each party to make sure nothing has been tampered with...

RE: 10,000 complaints, compared to what?
By Just Tom on 1/24/2011 5:03:42 PM , Rating: 4
If you think even a perfect police force, if such a thing could exist, would have no complaints you're dreaming. Civilian complaints are used as a tool to game the system. Make a complaint, valid or not, and it might be used as a chip in plea bargaining.

By HrilL on 1/24/2011 5:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
This goes both ways btw. I've been arrested and one of the officers claimed I bruised her arm but never actually filed a assaulting an officer charge. I argued that there is no way I could have made finger print bruise because I was already cuffed. She put pictures of her arm in her report. The DA wanted me to serve more time but luckily my lawyer was able to prove using my argument that it was in fact not possible as it was her upper arm and my hands couldn't have made up up that high. Now I should have reported the officers talking me while cuffed for no reason and I had witnesses as well... Most of the police officers in my town can't even pass the metal exam but since there is so few people applying they get hired anyway. This same officer has had 100s of complaints filed against her...

RE: 10,000 complaints, compared to what?
By Jaybus on 1/25/2011 11:24:35 AM , Rating: 2
If given notice, then it is not without their knowledge, so perfectly legal. For example, many stores have security cameras. A notice is posted near the entrance for all to see. If the police do something inside the store and are caught on camera, then the store owners/management has not committed any crime. If someone covertly places a hidden camera pointed at the entrance of a police station to monitor their comings and goings, then that is a crime. If the people in question would have asked if they could record the conversation and the police agreed, then it would not be a crime. And why wouldn't you ask? It will look very bad in court when the jury learns that the officers refused to have the conversation recorded. It makes their testimony of what was said during the conversation far less reliable and lends credence to the accused version of what was said.

RE: 10,000 complaints, compared to what?
By Jeffk464 on 1/25/2011 2:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
Why wouldn't you ask, really? So if you video a cop beating the crap out of someone you would want him to know that you have the video on you? Don't you think he is going to then come after you to get the video so as to protect his job?

By lagomorpha on 1/29/2011 1:10:16 AM , Rating: 1
*cops beating the shit out of random person*

"Excuse me officer, would it be alright if I video tape you for a little.. owe OWE! WHY WHY ARE YOU BEATING ME!"

RE: 10,000 complaints, compared to what?
By CharonPDX on 1/24/2011 6:05:50 PM , Rating: 3
A quick search shows that Chicago has a population of 2.8 million. If they had 10,000 complaints between 2002 and 2004, then that means about 3,333 complaints per year. (Assuming "between 2002 and 2004" is full-year-inclusive.)

By contrast, my city of Portland, Oregon also has a police force famous for brutality (a few years ago, nearly 1/3 of all "homicides" were police shootings!) had 660 complaints in 2007, and 453 in 2008. This for a city of 566,000 (both cities numbers are for the city-proper only, not including suburbs.)

Calculating per 100,000 residents has:
Chicago: 119 (taking fixed population of 2.8 mil, and three-year-averaged 3333 complaints)
Portland: 99 (taking fixed population of 566k, and two-year average of 556 complaints)

So Chicago from 2002 to 2004 is a little worse than Portland from 2007 to 2008. Completely anecdotal, but Portland does have a reputation of having a brutal police force.

Portland had 29 homicides in 2010, 6 of them were police shootings. 2005 had 26 homicides, 8 of them were police; 2006 had 27 homicides, 7 of them were police. The Portland Police did well from 2007-2009, only 7 total in that span.

RE: 10,000 complaints, compared to what?
By n00bxqb on 1/24/2011 11:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's nice to live in Canada.

Between 2006 and 2008, my local area had an average murder rate of 0.7 per 100,000 people and a violent crime rate of 12.8 per 100,000 people.

It's a town of about 50,000 people, so that's 1 murder over 3 years and about 6 violent crimes per year ...

By djcameron on 1/25/2011 11:09:26 AM , Rating: 2
My US town of 55,000 people only has a 6.6 per 100k violent crime rate. It's nice to live in the USA too.

There must be a reason to worry
By masamasa on 1/24/2011 3:17:24 PM , Rating: 3
Clearly they are afraid of the consequences of having their actions recorded digtially. If they weren't they wouldn't care. Is Chicago a city of crooked cops?

RE: There must be a reason to worry
By Dug on 1/24/2011 3:44:57 PM , Rating: 3
You should see how many complaints there are, not just for brutality, taking bribes, etc.
Problem is that no one will fight them, because it obviously goes higher than the regular police.
Who do you go to after that? You can't win if you don't have evidence, and its against the law to collect evidence.
So basically you are screwed.

By seamonkey79 on 1/24/2011 5:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
We've had out last two governor's go to prison for corruption... what do you think the largest city in the state is going to be like?

That's right. Better at hiding it.

By catavalon21 on 1/24/2011 6:07:20 PM , Rating: 2
You're kidding, right?

Sure, every department sometimes has bad apples. It just seems like everywhere from Hollywood to mainstream media have stories about it in Chicago.

I do find the double standards irritating, but it's nothing new. Many laws (far outside Chicago, to be fair) prohibiting some act don't apply to police officers.

By rrburton on 1/24/2011 8:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
It's Chicago, of course there is corruption

By lagomorpha on 1/29/2011 12:57:15 AM , Rating: 3
"Is Chicago a city of crooked cops?"

Yep. Why do you think everyone calls it "Crook County"?

By TheMan876 on 1/24/2011 6:38:35 PM , Rating: 5
illegal to digitally record

Use analog technology to record them. Bam

RE: Loophole
By wired00 on 1/24/2011 6:52:26 PM , Rating: 3
hai, whatz a analog?

sent from iphone

RE: Loophole
By YashBudini on 1/24/2011 7:43:09 PM , Rating: 5
Analog devices were things that were made without any of the employees committing suicide.

RE: Loophole
By wired00 on 1/24/2011 9:50:37 PM , Rating: 2

We should all be careful...
By morphologia on 1/24/2011 4:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
If you can go to prison for recording a Chicago police officer in any way...who knows how they will punish people who post negative comments about them??

They're not the only powermad/corrupt police department in the US, and they just might be able to exert nationwide influence through their fellow dirty cops in YOUR city. Be careful when opening your front door.

Just kidding...I hope.

RE: We should all be careful...
By chagrinnin on 1/24/2011 6:43:53 PM , Rating: 3
*This comment has been flagged for future reference*

-Chicago State Police

RE: We should all be careful...
By Suntan on 1/25/2011 11:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
-Chicago State Police



RE: We should all be careful...
By chagrinnin on 1/27/2011 2:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
Of course I'm serious,...and don't get me started on those Detroit State Police. :P


The other side
By mlmiller1 on 1/24/2011 6:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
The police deal with the worst type of people. The type that would monitor an officer record his routines and make the information available for others to ambush the officer.

They could follow him while off duty and record him dropping off his kids at school, or having lunch with his wife. With this information available, the worst sort of people would have simple soft targets, to threaten with or act on. Imagine he is required to arrest an individual, during the arrest, the individual indicates his buddies will find his family and make him pay...

So, it is not so straight forward as it first appears. In Mexico officers have to wear masks to protect their identity so their family is not used against them.

RE: The other side
By jconan on 1/25/2011 12:55:54 AM , Rating: 2
When officers are off the job in civilian clothes, they have a right to their own privacy so video or photographing shouldn't be allowed. However as an enforcer of the law, video recordings should be allowed to show or disprove that the officers are upholding and enforcing the law and that they are not acting above the law or corrupt like Mexico where they could be working for the mafia or a corrupt legislator/ or on the payroll of someone else other than the municipality or state e.g. Jay Rockefeller?

RE: The other side
By Jeffk464 on 1/25/2011 2:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
They could collect all that info without filming it durr.

P.S. when off duty they have the same lack of privacy in public places as the rest of us.

RE: The other side
By Skywalker123 on 1/25/2011 1:04:25 AM , Rating: 2
You think this law would stop cop killers?

By wired00 on 1/24/2011 5:34:30 PM , Rating: 3
ahh the land of the free

RE: Free
By YashBudini on 1/24/2011 6:41:45 PM , Rating: 2
Slowly everything that used to be free in the US is having a price affixed to it.

Are they planning on convicting reporters as well if they show up to a ground breaking story?

RE: Free
By Jaybus on 1/25/2011 11:27:18 AM , Rating: 2
Only if they air something that makes the police look bad.

Chicago police..
By InvertMe on 1/24/2011 2:58:43 PM , Rating: 1
If I was a police officer in Chicago I'd probably be an asshole too. Have you ever been there? So many idiots.. I honestly don't know how they deal with it.

RE: Chicago police..
By morphologia on 1/24/2011 3:02:50 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously they deal with it by becoming worse than the people they police. And to top it off, they can't be proven guilty because evidence against them is illegal.

RE: Chicago police..
By ClownPuncher on 1/24/2011 6:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
I think they have to apply for the job. I think we can safely say, they knew people were bastards before they got the job.

Security Camera
By Jexel17 on 1/24/2011 3:28:39 PM , Rating: 3
So technically they could arrest the owner of any business with a security camera? Thats just swell.

RE: Security Camera
By YashBudini on 1/24/2011 6:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
They'd have a hell of a time proving intent. Unless of course they drop that requirement.

Screw them, and screw chicago
By Shadowmaster625 on 1/24/11, Rating: 0
By YashBudini on 1/24/2011 8:00:04 PM , Rating: 3
Please stop holding back and tell us how you really feel.

RE: Screw them, and screw chicago
By rrburton on 1/24/2011 8:36:38 PM , Rating: 2
Lol, we already get all potable water from the lake for the entire metro area.

O, and don't go on the west side.... Scary

If they aren't doing anything wrong...
By nafhan on 1/24/2011 3:12:47 PM , Rating: 2
They shouldn't mind being taped, right? Or, does that logic only works when they're taping us?

Do the Police in Illinois have those dashboard cameras?

By mlmiller1 on 1/24/2011 6:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
For the Mayberry PD your right; officers shouldn't worry about being taped.

I think if they are working as an officer they should be video taped, as long as the camera guy is not interfering.

Off hours recording of an officer, would be an invasion of privacy...and possibly dangerous.

Only in America
By YashBudini on 1/24/2011 6:47:35 PM , Rating: 4
Tape a cop, go to jail.

Destroy a global economy, get a reward.

The chicago police are corrupt?
By zmatt on 1/24/2011 10:45:40 PM , Rating: 4
Say it ain't so!

Seriously though, I think the ACLU needs to work on bypassing the state courts and go federal with this one. The judges are obviously in on the racket as well.

might be ruled unconstitutional as cruel and unusual
By rika13 on 1/26/2011 8:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
Under Illinois law, taping the cop arresting you is a class 1 felony, so is aggravated battery of a peace officer that causes permanent disfigurement, disability or serious harm. In other words, breaking a cop's knee with a baseball bat and leaving him unable to ever walk again is the same type of crime as recording him beating up a suspect on duty. The rather stiff penalty for recording a cop on duty might fall under the "cruel and unusual punishment" clause of the U.S. Constitution. This could also be in violation of Article I Section 2 of the Illinois Constitution, which provides equal protection of the laws to all persons and due process.

The only real exception is if the victim of the abuse requests or is recording a crime against him or a member of his immediate household for use as evidence in a criminal proceeding.

By rika13 on 1/26/2011 8:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
disclaimer, i aint a lawyer, but might provide some help for the defense

Laws like this are typical of Illinois, Blago is right, corruption is the norm here, not the exception. A good example is the General Assembly's salary will automatically be raised every year unless both houses explicitly vote against such. Another is the "present" vote that is commonly used to weasel out of actually voting on anything. (Obama made this famous, voting present on a crime bill because he doesn't want to look soft on crime, but had to placate to his openly racist constituents.) Yet another was when they allowed Ameren and ComEd to lie about the electricity rate increases that would result from the removal of the cap.

Not an issue
By MeesterNid on 1/24/2011 2:45:56 PM , Rating: 3
Once Illinois goes bankrupt, should happen pretty soon now, this will be a non-issue as they will have no money to enforce that or people that live that to break it.

A Pig Is A Pig
By gorehound on 1/24/2011 4:39:55 PM , Rating: 3
There is a reason why my generation called police PIGS.
And nothing changes when it comes to the badge and the power it gives

Further thoughts
By YashBudini on 1/24/2011 7:58:30 PM , Rating: 3
Crap like this is why God invented Wikileaks.

By Quadrillity on 1/24/2011 2:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
The Thought Police. Coming soon to a city near you.

Governments do it
By MartyLK on 1/24/2011 3:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
And yet any state or federal entity is legally allowed to eavesdrop on employees. They are allowed by law to monitor and record all conversations and activity in any building or vehicle. They also are now allowed to plant tracking devices on your vehicle.

Welcome to Gotham City
By bupkus on 1/24/2011 5:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
If police should not be recorded then why not enforce a similar ban on recording politicians? Because the police are essentially the enforcement arm of our POLITICAL institutions. Ok, so what does that mean you may ask?
I don't know what their arguments are supporting such laws but I know my fears.

This essentially gives the handlers of the police extended powers of what police can do without fear of being recorded while doing it. Will potential evidence compiled against a police officer's misconduct by local citizenry then be confiscated as state's evidence against the recording citizen whom then becomes victimized twice? And how then will internal affairs conduct their investigation?
The police could and probably will increasingly become a private army for those who control them. Any trail leading back to their handlers becomes a far more dangerous trek.
I cannot express just how much this threatens our Republic and the freedoms from tyranny we still enjoy.
As U.S. citizens we have witnessed increased erosion of our protections under law. We have witnessed our political voice drowned out by the overpowering influence of illegal political contributions. Now the powerful have become criminally emboldened.
This is a law not just against liberalism; this is a law against all of us.

No way!
By IcePickFreak on 1/24/2011 5:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
A double-standard by the government and/or law enforcement? Say it ain't so.

By SKiddywinks on 1/24/2011 6:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely shocking, although I think a lot of people are missing an important part of the law we are discussing here; it states that it is only without consent tapings that are illegal, i.e. you are recording secretly.

So this raises a few questions; if you say to the cop "Look, I am going to tape this conversation", can they then decide they don't agree to it, and if you don't turn it off they can arrest you on the spot?

Sounds absolutely ludicrous, but from my understanding, and the wording of the law, it seems like that could be a genuine incident.

If this law simply must exist, it should state without informing the officer, rather than without their consent. Likewise, the punishment should be, like has been mentioned, a month. At most.

And second, what possible reason could this law exist? I can't really imagine any recording of a conversation possibly going against the cop, unless they have done something wrong. As far as taking something out of context, if a civilian uses only a piece of it in court, then the whole recording should be submitted, or it gets thrown out. Simple as. Sounds fair to me.

The only reason they would possibly make a law such as this, is if they expect the cops to at any point NOT do what they should. Which, being cops, they should ALWAYS be acting perfectly. Frankly, the only possible reason this law could exist is to back up cops doing something sketchy.

Double standard?
By Divide Overflow on 1/24/2011 7:10:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'd only have a problem with this if there was a double standard for police officers being recorded. If the law is blind about who is being recorded, there shouldn't be a problem. Illinois can make up it's own mind on if that activity should be illegal or not.

By jconan on 1/25/2011 12:00:00 AM , Rating: 2
Chicago PD must be corrupt?! If Chicago PD is legit and ethical then they wouldn't be afraid of record or video taping. They shouldn't even have to worry about public perception if they were doing their job as to enforce the law and not acting above the law or if they were doing any malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance as required by the badge.

By Targon on 1/25/2011 9:37:00 AM , Rating: 2
If I have a recording device on me that is capable of recording what I personally can hear, that is not eavesdropping if the police in question is talking to me or knows that I am there. If it is not illegal for me to see and hear what a police officer is doing, that is NOT trying to hide my presence.

Now, if I left a recorder and it recorded what a police officer was doing when I was not around, that is another story. If the police were to come to my home, I should be legally allowed to record and monitor what goes on there for security purposes.

By SunTzu on 1/25/2011 10:10:12 AM , Rating: 2
We all know that the term "The Land of the free" has nothing in common with the current state of america, but i never thought u guys had falled this low. How can this even be a misdemeanor? Its encouraged in alot of other places, and should never ever be illegal. If a cop does something in uniform, he should expect to be held accountable for his actions. If he's afraid of being caught doing something bad, the solution is to stop acting like an ass, not to make it illegal to tape you.

By whickywhickyjim on 1/25/2011 10:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
I bet Alvin Weems and friends are all for this.

By olafmetal on 1/25/2011 10:55:00 AM , Rating: 2
By Queonda on 1/25/2011 6:25:13 PM , Rating: 2
I just finished a documentary and interviewed a police officer, who was more than happy to get his name & face out there. Also got footage of several other police on the street, without any problems. Screw Illinois.

By FXi on 1/26/2011 9:11:01 PM , Rating: 2
I know police work is far from a glorious job. But pulling the cloak and dagger routine by prosecuting anyone who tapes you does nothing but build a distrust of the profession. The only people who don't want to be taped, have something to hide. And it's true.

Secondly, why the double standard? If they want to tape us, they better have a warrant. All those cameras in police stations? Take them out. The ones mounted in police cars? Turn them off unless you have warrants with evidence to prove wrongdoing. Why can they tape the public AT WILL, yet the public cannot do the same in return? You don't get arrested for filming a politician or a film star. Guess what. Get used to being under the same observation you put everyone else under.

If the politicians know what's good for them, they'll put an end to this prosecution craziness and fire a few senior police officials along the way. These laws are unconstitutional and defended by a judicial system that is in league with the offenders.

No good reason for this to go on. If someone is undercover, then you might have a case for privacy. But sitting in a station, or patrolling on the street, or conducting an arrest, you'd better be as comfortable getting filmed as doing the filming.

By Autisticgramma on 2/1/2011 6:48:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think its time to start a company installing the same equipment the police use to record their little movies. Once started it can't be turned off, (with out an encryption key)and broadcasts directly to the Google cloud. Every customer gets a bumper sticker: If I'm pulled over, You're on camera. It does make me wonder about the per MB charges of the cell companies, since its the only way to transmit like that.

Jason really this is a Progressive's dream
By glennforum on 1/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: Jason really this is a Progressive's dream
By YashBudini on 1/24/2011 7:50:39 PM , Rating: 2
Once again, a lot of people don't have their sarcasm meters on.

By Zaranthos on 1/25/2011 11:24:27 AM , Rating: 2
So I can sue Google Earth for millions now? Excellent! I didn't really want to dump coffee in my lap at McDonalds anyway. ;-)

There is no disconnect
By Beenthere on 1/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: There is no disconnect
By quiksilvr on 1/24/2011 2:44:46 PM , Rating: 3
There is punishing and extortion. This is extortion to the nth degree. You can't just throw someone in jail for 15 years just because they recorded a conversation between two parties. That is ridiculous and puts an unnecessary strain on the system already.

One month would get the point across for something as trivial as this.

RE: There is no disconnect
By JasonMick on 1/24/2011 2:46:15 PM , Rating: 5
Ever sung a song in public?

That's a performance, without paying royalties, and is as illegal as sharing music online, according to copyright law in the U.S., Britain, etc...

Now which hand did you have in mind?

RE: There is no disconnect
By Murloc on 1/24/2011 2:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
okay, but the disconnection comes out if you compare jail time for violent crime and taping.
You can agree that violent crime is something horrible and very nocive to the society, but taping is something stupid.
People who kill can spend less time in prison.
That's the disconnection.

RE: There is no disconnect
By morphologia on 1/24/2011 2:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, you seem to be ignorant of the actual topic of conversation...the harsh punishment dealt to people who attempt to gather evidence of wrongdoing by the police. The music sharing comments were obviously provided for perspective.

Second, punishment should always be proportionate to the wrong committed. Neither the exorbutant filesharing charges nor the draconic prison sentences for recording are the least bit justifiable.

Finally, the fact that the FOP is on board with this shows that it has one purpose: to allow cops to get away with anything, up to and including murder.

Anyone up for a boycott of Chicago?

RE: There is no disconnect
By Quadrillity on 1/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: There is no disconnect
By Parhel on 1/24/2011 4:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever even been to Chicago? Maybe I'm partial because I live in the area, but it's my favorite big city. It has great food, nice parks, a free zoo, beaches, world class museums, nightlife, mostly OK sports teams . . . I guess . . . OK, forget that last part. But, really, compared to other large Midwestern cities, Chicago is the place to be. Would you rather live in Detroit? Cleveland? St. Louis?

RE: There is no disconnect
By Quadrillity on 1/24/2011 5:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I would rather live in my small city. And by small I mean 1/4 million population. I have an innate problem with all super dense cities I guess.

RE: There is no disconnect
By JediJeb on 1/25/2011 10:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
I like my town of 20k residents and even better that I live 10 miles from it. I have visited Chicago and it is ok, but I could never live in a place like that. I hated the 10 years I lived in a apartment here, I much prefer being able to go outside and barely see the neighbors house like I do now.

RE: There is no disconnect
By nrhpd527 on 1/24/2011 5:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'd MUCH rather live in St. Louis than Chicago. At least St. Louis doesn't support a team of chronic and historically bad epic failures like the Cubs! Seriously, Chicago's only redeeming factors are its zoo, a couple of great museums, and the best style of pizza EVER! After that, not a fan at all!

RE: There is no disconnect
By Parhel on 1/24/2011 5:57:08 PM , Rating: 3
I can't argue with you on the Cubs. It's offset by the pizza, though. And, I know this is going to get me rated down, but I'm saying it anyways . . . only Chicago knows how to make a proper hot dog.

RE: There is no disconnect
By rrburton on 1/24/2011 8:39:44 PM , Rating: 3
Right on.

RE: There is no disconnect
By cmdrdredd on 1/24/2011 10:47:03 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever even been to Chicago?

No but I lump it in with NYC, Boston, & LA as places I will never ever visit or spend money at. I'd rather give my money to Houston Texas, Lexington Kentucky, Nashville Tennessee, Huntington West Virginia, Charlotte North Carolina, numerous FL cities like Daytona, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, St. Augustine, Panama City, Mobile Alabama, Phoenix Arizona, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis Indiana.

Why? Simply because everyone I've ever met from Boston has been a liberal anti-gun pro-tax increase idiot, everyone from NYC has been a pompous douche full of themselves wearing Yankees gear when they don't even know who Mickey Mantle was, everyone from LA has been either an illegal mexican, a gang banger, or a wannabe hippie who thinks I shouldn't be allowed to drive an H1 Hummer if I can afford to and I should only own a prius and that somehow I'm a bad person because I like Steak.

RE: There is no disconnect
By Targon on 1/25/2011 9:55:22 AM , Rating: 2
You have just made a great case for why no one should take you seriously. Any large city has different areas, and the type of person living in one area will generally not be a proper representitive for how people are in other areas of the same city.

RE: There is no disconnect
By jjmcubed on 1/25/2011 9:56:12 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty cool that you can judge them without ever spending a minute there...

RE: There is no disconnect
By zixin on 1/24/11, Rating: 0
RE: There is no disconnect
By cjohnson2136 on 1/24/2011 4:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
We've often written on the disconnect between current laws and the reality of the digital age. When a person gets charged over a million dollars for pirating and sharing a few songs, and a robber stealing a dozen CDs might have to a pay a few hundred in fines, the system can seem incredibly flawed at times.

He is refering to this little portion which is suppose to give perspective on the Cop issue. Clearly he either did not read the article or thought that one paragraph was more important

RE: There is no disconnect
By bupkus on 1/24/2011 5:12:18 PM , Rating: 2
Troll. AS simple as that.

RE: There is no disconnect
By Skywalker123 on 1/25/2011 1:09:50 AM , Rating: 2
What has piratebay got to do with the topic you moron?

2 Points
By Yames on 1/24/11, Rating: -1
RE: 2 Points
By MozeeToby on 1/24/2011 4:40:06 PM , Rating: 5
No one has been prosecuted in a manner that seems unfair?

"The camera was rolling when an unmarked gray sedan cut him off as he stopped behind several other cars along Exit 80.

From the driver’s side emerged a man in a gray pullover and jeans. The man, who was wielding a gun, repeatedly yelled at Graber, ordering him to get off his bike. Only then did Maryland State Trooper Joseph D. Uhler identify himself as “state police” and holster his weapon."

So, we've got a police officer drawing a gun on someone who was non-threatening (which is at the least highly controversial) without identifying himself as a member of the police first (which is both illegal and highly dangerous for both the officer and the civilian).

"A week later, on March 10, Graber posted his video of the encounter on YouTube."

One month after that, police raided his home. "During a 90-minute search of Graber’s parents’ home, police confiscated four computers, the camera, external hard drives and thumb drives."

That doesn't sound abusive to you? Keep in mind, this took place in a state where every cop car has a dash board camera that is supposed to record every traffic stop without notifying the person being pulled over (in other words, the exact behavior the guy was eventually arrested for).

That's one example found after about 20s of work on Google. A man guilty of nothing more than speeding having his life turned upside down by a decades old law that just plain does not make sense in the modern world.

RE: 2 Points
By Yames on 1/25/2011 3:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
First you take my comment out of context. I said "from this story" which takes place in Chicago not Maryland. I was not talking about any other incidents. Also you should look up the word "prosecuted". The police raiding this guys home is not prosecution.

RE: 2 Points
By ChoadNamath on 1/24/2011 4:55:49 PM , Rating: 5
I live in a one party state, and believe citizens should have the right to record the actions of public servants serving in the public without their knowledge. However if that recording is used to undermine the public service then it should be prosecutable.
And who gets to determine whether or not the recording is being "used to undermine the public service"?

Simply recording someone's actions in public should never be prosecutable, especially if the person being recorded wields some sort of authority. Police departments are free to defend their actions as they see fit, but they should never be able to scare citizens into silence by threatening them with jailtime for recording them.

RE: 2 Points
By Targon on 1/25/2011 9:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
To be fair, if you upload content to a web site, that COULD cause problems for the police. If you record it and then use it in court in your own defense, they should not be able to prosecute you for it, and any appeal should nullify any punishment for the use of the recording in your own defense.

RE: 2 Points
By Lerianis on 1/28/2011 2:48:23 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing that making a video of an arrest public on a website would do is to put the righteous fear of an outraged populace in the police, which the police should carry every single day to keep the police in line.

RE: 2 Points
By Yames on 1/25/2011 3:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
The AG would first make that determination and then a Judge would have to rule on it. You may not be able to imagine a situation where this behavior could be detrimental to public safety, but they exist non the less.

I still defend that citizen should have the right to make recordings in such a manner as long as they don't use them in a detrimental way. Just like I can make a recording of you in public doing something stupid, however if I post that for the world to see, you may be able to sue me for damages.

RE: 2 Points
By superstition on 2/1/2011 9:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
"Just like I can make a recording of you in public doing something stupid, however if I post that for the world to see, you may be able to sue me for damages."

That's idiotic. Public means p u b l i c.

If someone does something in public, that person should expect to be recorded/videotaped et cetera. It shouldn't matter who it is or what they're doing.

The only way this can change is if someone has the authority to establish a non-public space, like a restricted area/crime scene.

People are accountable for their actions. If someone picks their nose and eats it in public and you put a video of that on Youtube, that person can't "sue you for damages" in any sane reality.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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