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Is it illegal to record the police in your state?

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by tacmotusn, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    I find it pretty difficult to swallow that every minute of every day outside of your home you are probably being recorded visually or with audio or both.
    The Law of the Land is the US Constitution
    Rule or Law, means we are all supposed to be equals under the law.
    So, how can this be allowed to stand? Our Supreme Court is supposed to ensure this crap doesn't happen. Additionally, no law should ever be passed and enacted, and enforced that fails to meet the Constitutional sniff test. When it happens it only proves how stupid our entire Legislative, Judicial, and Executive Branches of Government are. These elected officials were supposed to be the Guardians of the rights of the People who elected them. Oh my, I have digressed ...... I am speaking of the USA of 200 years ago. I forgot that it no longer exists.
    Here is the article that fired me up on this rant.
    Illinois Law: 15 Years in Prison For Recording Police
    A growing number of people are recording their encounters with police as reports of police abusing their authority and power increase. People want to keep police accountable for their actions and want to have audio/video evidence in case something bad happens. Some states have laws against audio recording police officers, and Illinois probably has the harshest.
    People guilty in Illinois of recording police officers (audio or video with audio) carrying out their duties in public can face up to 15 years in prison. It’s considered a Class 1 felony.
    But a couple years ago, the ACLU filed suit against Illinois and challenged the constitutionality of the “anti-eavesdropping” law when the state’s prosecutor Anita Alvarez was attempting to prosecute ACLU staff for recording police officers. Earlier this year in May, a lower court in Chicago actually upheld the ACLU’s position.
    Huffington Post reported:
    “In that critical lower-court ruling in May, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law – one of the toughest of its kind in the country – violates the First Amendment when used against those who record police officers doing their jobs in public.”​
    The May decision resulted in a temporary injunction that has prevented anyone from being prosecuted under this 50-year-old law for recording a police officer. Illinois prosecutors tried to appeal this ruling recently in a 33-page petition to the Supreme Court, but they ignored their plea. Their refusal to hear the plea or issue an opinion renders the most current opinion still in effect.
    Illinois prosecutors are in favor of such a law because they say it “protects” everybody.
    Huffington Post continued:
    “Especially in an era where recording devices can pick up conversations from far away, a lack of restraints could make civilians uneasy and make them reluctant to speak frankly to officers about criminal activity – endangering the public, the petition argued.”
    It’s quite a stretch to suggest that using recording devices with police encounters makes civilians more likely to lie to officers. First of all, criminals will likely lie whether they’re being recorded or not. Second of all, it’s usually the innocent ones that are recording because they know they’ve done nothing wrong, and they want the video evidence in case the cop tries to do something sneaky. Recording incidents with police can protect those who are innocent. If there is no audio or video evidence, then police can accuse you of something you didn’t do, as is their wont, and you would have no case against the cop when it would simply be his word against yours.
    It’s no secret anymore that civilians are under constant surveillance by law enforcement at all levels. They can monitor us with surveillance cameras distributed around cities, read our e-mails and other electronic communications, listen in on our cell phone calls, etc. So, why are police so opposed to being recorded when civilians are routinely subjected to such surveillance without our consent?
    What about the oft-used police aphorism, “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide?” Using law enforcement’s mentality, the fact that they don’t want to be recorded indicates that they must be guilty of something, right? Perhaps they’re the ones that are trying to hide something.
    kellory, TheEconomist and Brokor like this.
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member


    The police often receive vacation time with pay for committing crimes against the People. Until this changes and we continue to hold them responsible and protect our rights on every occasion, the establishment will keep on doing what it's doing. There are a lot of good cops out there --but they are vastly outnumbered by the militarized mindset of the clone cops who treat civilians like prison inmates and enjoy it.
  3. TheEconomist

    TheEconomist Creighton Bluejay Site Supporter+

    See, the ACLU is a good thing!
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Well, yes and no. I take umbridge with the way they pick and choose. To me it seems very biased. In other words they ignore very onerous yet obvious violations of civil rights at times just because it doesn't suit their personal agenda.
    TheEconomist likes this.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    ACLU is just like ANY OTHER Political Group with an Agenda.... As a Group, they pick their Agenda, and choose to ignore those Constitutional Issues that do NOT fit into their Agenda.... ..... YMMV....
  6. CaboWabo5150

    CaboWabo5150 Lost in the woods

    If they can record me from their dash-cam, then I should be able to record them. After all, they are my employee's.

    7 Rules for recording police
    tacmotusn likes this.
  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Thanks for posting the link with so many informative suggestions. Most excellent !!!
  8. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    It's illegal in any state at any time ,any place and in any town...
    WHEN the police are breaking the law...Just ask them...

    CaboWabo5150 and oldawg like this.
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