SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Second judge rules eavesdropping law unconstitutional

Friday, Mar 2, 2012

* A Cook County judge ruled the state’s eavesdropping law is unconstitutional today. It’s just a lower court judge, but that makes two judges in six months who’ve ruled the same way. Another woman charged with a felony was recently acquitted. From the Tribune

The law makes it a felony offense to make audio recordings of police officers without their consent even when they’re performing their public duties.

Judge Stanley Sacks, who is assigned to the Criminal Courts Building, found the eavesdropping law unconstitutional because it potentially criminalizes “wholly innocent conduct.”

Somebody once tape recorded a private conversation he had with me. I was furious, pointed to the felony penalties and the tape was quickly destroyed. Recording completely private conversations is one thing. Recording a police officer in a public setting engaged in a public duty seems legit to me. The state already prohibits people from interfering with the police. There are reasonable limits on what can and can’t be done, but slapping somebody with a felony is extreme beyond belief.

* A little background on the defendant Chris Drew

Chris originally set out to challenge a 1994 Chicago Ordinance which equates artists as non-speech peddlers. As Chris puts it, “Art is Speech” which is not the same as selling socks or watches. Prior to this ordinance, artists could be found selling their art in downtown. The legendary Lee Godie, a naïve artist, would sell drawing and painting in front of the Art Institute in the 80s, as other artists would be seen around downtown as well. Not so today.

For a period of about a year, I documented Chris on his journey, as he and UM-CAC artists distributed art patches in downtown Chicago. Sometimes for free, sometimes for donation, and also selling them for $1.

On Dec. 2, 2009, Chris was selling art patches, for $1, as part of the FREE SAM, (Free Speech Artists Movement) He was arrested for peddling without a license, and peddling in a prohibited district. But the shocker came when at the police station, an officer found a small personal tape recorder in his red cape. The charge of Class 1 Felony Eavesdropping was added, with a bond of $20,000. At his first court appearance the misdemeanor charges of selling art in public without a peddlers license and in an area prohibited by the peddlers license were dropped. To the surprise of many, including Chris, there is a law in Illinois which appears to cover a person audio recording their own arrest. Others have been charged under this law as well.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


9 Comments
  1. - Newsclown - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    Good; the sooner this thing is fixed, the better. It should never have been allowed in the first place. Thanks to government security policy we now live in the panopticon; the law enforcement watches should be just as watchable as we are. Only good can come from reforming this law.


  2. - Just Observing - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    Great ruling. This is an issue that needs to be resolved in the courts and/or legislature — for too long police have pushed for these laws to prevent citizens from filming bad or corrupt police behavior caught on tape. State Rep. Elaine Nekritz has proposed legislation to partially address this.


  3. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    This is one issue that should make any voter question a politician who says s/he’s with the Fraternal Order of Police 100% of the time.


  4. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 2:49 pm:

    And how long did it take to fix this stupid law?

    What a waste of time and money


  5. - Just Observing - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 2:54 pm:

    === And how long did it take to fix this stupid law? ===

    This law is not fixed — as Rich points out this is only a lower court ruling — we still need a substantive legislative fix.


  6. - mark walker - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 3:05 pm:

    State Rep Nekritz has already brought the bill to fix it. It ought to be passed and signed.


  7. - reformer - Friday, Mar 2, 12 @ 3:18 pm:

    It’s an embarrassment that the General Assembly waits for judges to force their hand, when the injustice of this felony has been visible for years.

    Previous attempts to revise this law have been blocked by The Speaker.


  8. - amorro - Sunday, Mar 4, 12 @ 7:00 pm:

    The Illinois Eavesdropping’s battle isn’t over yet. On March 15th, 2012, Melongo will argue her motion to dismiss. She recorded Pamela Taylor, a Cook County Court Manager, for an alleged tampered court transcript. She’s challenging this controversial law on First and Fourteenth Amendments grounds.
    Melongo’s motion : http://tinyurl.com/6nqv2se
    State’s response: http://tinyurl.com/73fwecf


  9. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 5, 12 @ 5:30 pm:

    In some instances a Citizen’s only chance against corrupt and abusive Police—to prove what actually happened during a police encounter—is to record/film the Cops. Almost every week there are published news accounts of e.g. police taking bribes, aiding & smuggling illegal drugs, robbing drug-dealers, planting evidence and committing perjury. Police corruption has become a greater threat to Americans since Congress passed in December 2011 (NDAA) The National Defense Authorization ACT of 2012. Police that falsify reports and give perjured testimony can cause innocent Citizens to be swept off the street and indefinitely incarcerated for suspected of supporting or being a terrorist, combatant or belligerent. Under (NDAA) Government doesn’t need probable cause or corroborating evidence to Indefinitely Detain Americans without charges, without right to an attorney, trial or Habeas Corpus. A recording or film of police may be a Citizen’s only hope-provided police don’t destroy it…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* No pension bump for Stermer, MJM still not persuaded on special session
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - More comptroller stuff
* 1:30 comptroller announcement expected - Stermer appointed, says he will resign January 12th
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Comptroller stuff
* Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Bears open thread
* More adventures in misgovernance
* Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Petulance all around
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Oppo R5 vs HTC One M8: Thin vs. Powerful
        * Bring Back the Old School with the NES30 Bluetooth Controller [DEALS]
        * OnePlus One mini, BlackBerry Classic, Windows Phone ups & downs | Pocketnow Weekly 127
        * Get off the fence and go get a smartwatch
        * Apple Watch retail, Android Wear Lollipop, Nexus 6 comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
        * Our 5 favourite new Windows Phone apps of the week
        * White elephant: There's a reason they give this advice away

        * Moto X (2014) Gets Android 5.0 Lollipop In The UK
        * 32GB Moto X (2nd Generation) Coming to India on December 22
        * Minecraft Creator Purchased a Mansion in Beverly Hills for $70 Million
        * Samsung Rumored to Launch Apple Pay Competitor
        * Alleged Xiaomi Redmi 2S Spotted on AnTuTu
        * Google+ Introduces One-click Auto Enhance for Videos
        * Moto X (2nd Generation) Gets Android 5.0 Lollipop in India

        * The year in injuries: White Sox have been better, could've been worse
        * Williams: Make protesting voices heard through vote
        * Williams: Make protesting voices heard through vote
        * White Sox also had a December to remember 100 years ago
        * Terrerobytes: Future of Cuban baseball complicated on both sides
        * White Sox sign George Kottaras to a minor league deal
        * Kottaras to join White Sox with Minor League deal

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Public Pensions Are America's Greece..
        * Republicans On Special Session..
        * Havenstein to New Hampshire Supporters: 'You In.....
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner talks of dogs, housi.....
        * Mother speaks at slain Chicago teen's funeral..
        * Only thing even Rahm Emanuel can't fix: Da Bears..


        * 1 dead, many injured in shooting at suburban party
        * Mother speaks at slain Chicago teen's funeral
        * Chicago mayor's teenage son mugged near home
        * 2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash
        * Illinois farm groups foresee market growth in Cuba
        * 2nd Illinois prison with possible chickenpox
        * Stolen laptop held Northwestern patient data
        * 2 charged with stealing from Salvation Army bucket
        * US criminal probes nab 13; race questions raised
        * Quinn signs bill increasing juror pay

        * State treasurer employees get raises, stipends as Rutherford’s term comes to end
        * Springfield-based U.S. attorney’s investigations nab 13; race questions raised
        * 2nd Illinois prison with possible chickenpox
        * Quinn signs bill increasing juror pay
        * Quinn names longtime aide Jerry Stermer comptroller until Jan. 12
        * Quinn signs law to nix deadline for asbestos lawsuits
        * Quinn to name comptroller replacement this afternoon
        * Madigan says T-Mobile settlement shields consumers
        * Quinn calls legislature back to Springfield to approve special election to replace Topinka
        * Audit: DCFS loses track of runaways

        * Can Garcia's run for mayor fire up independents?
        * Chicago's newest workout (and personal statement) options
        * A photo shop for photographers
        * The Life of Patrick Ryan: Act II, Scene 2
        * Office conversions kick small firms to the curb


        * Lakeview pot dispensary on hold; Tunney opposes Halsted location
        * Despite community pleas, CPS puts Dyett HS out for proposals
        * Quinn to appoint new Illinois Comptroller today
        * Gov. Quinn appoints longtime aide as Illinois comptroller
        * Watch: President Obama's year-end press conference
        * Rewriting the Sony cyberattack script
        * time for new course in Cuba
        * Are Rahm's numbers creeping up? New internals show him near 50
        * Obama guidance, press schedule, Dec. 19, 2014. Press conference
        * A whole lot of nothing from the City Council


        * South Loop crash leaves two dead, one hospitalized
        * One killed, as many as 10 more shot at south suburban house party
        * At least 3 shot since Saturday evening
        * FBI: 'Play-Along Bandit' hits 6th bank
        * Emanuel's son robbed near family's North Side home
        * Man dies day after Albany Park shooting
        * Demario Bailey funeral: 'The kids are the world. It starts with them'
        * DNA leads to murder charges in 1994 stabbing
        * 1 dead, 16 injured in separate shootings
        * Officials: Child at U. of C. tests negative for Ebola


        * Listen to State Week - December 19, 2014
        * Quinn Picks Budget Chief To Be Temporary Comptroller
        * 'Uber-gentrification' a force in Chicago's West Loop
        * Durbin leaving Congressional roommates behind
        * Worries rise in Russia as ruble falls
        * Improviser finds purpose in Chicago police mental health crisis trainings
        * Chicago 'petcoke' handler says it'll enclose piles
        * Waukegan woman seeks to trademark 'I can't breathe'
        * Obama re-establishing US relations with Cuba
        * Teaching hospitals hit hardest by medicare fines for patient safety


        * Quote of the day: Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner talks of dogs, housing and the work ahead as governor
        * State treasurer employees get raises, stipends as Rutherford’s term comes to end
        * Cathy Becker: Because it’s the right thing to do
        * T. Ray McJunkins: Justice, righteousness descend to fulfill dream
        * Springfield-based U.S. attorney’s investigations nab 13; race questions raised
        * 2nd Illinois prison with possible chickenpox
        * Sen. Dick Durbin: Clean water access bill honors Simon
        * Charles Krauthammer: How to fight the lone wolf
        * Quote of the day: Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014


        * Historic Route 66 goes electric; charging stations to be added between metro-east and Chicago
        * 25 Christmas wishes
        * A star is reborn
        * Lighting fuses in Oklahoma
        * Moving on from controversy
        * Studio Visit: Anna Gutsch and Johann Rischau
        * Christmas was special time at state-run children’s home
        * Exercise your rights to record
        * Getting Personal: Tim Johnson
        * Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come


        * South Alabama falters in loss to Bowling Green
        * Late TD lifts Bowling Green past South Alabama
        * No. 21 Mississippi State trounces Illinois-Chicago 73-36
        * Air Force beats Western Michigan 38-24 in Potato Bowl
        * Former Houston mayor Bob Lanier dies at 89

        * Davis To Obama: 'Do Everything In Your Pow...
        * Rahm Touts New Law to Clear Juvenile Polic...
        * Dem Rep. to Columnist: Stop Comparing Blac...
        * REP. DANNY K. DAVIS NOW SUPPORTS DR. WILLI...
        * Danny Davis Defeats Robert Bumpers In Illi...
        * Rehab of Affordable Housing Building in Ol...
        * Rep. Danny Davis Hopes to Keep His Seat fo...
        * Illinois House Dems agonize over vote to f...
        * Congressman calls for removal of police co...
        * Congressmen Plan House Speech on Chicago's...

        * Hill Democrats taking aim at vapes...

        * GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski Supports Gay Marriage...
        * Second GOP Senator Backs Gay Marriage...

        * Politically Connected Profit From United Center Parking Scam
        * Ready Aim Fire
        * Havana memories.
        * Walter Esler: “My brother walked from an empty room into a room full of people.”
        * Illinois Policy staff threatened with arrest at union-lead trainings
        * Governor-elect Rauner Visit with Latino Pastors
        * Governor-elect Rauner Visits with Latino Pastors
        * Illinois Policy staff threatened with arrest at union-led trainings
        * Organization claims Mark Kirk "Grubered" Illinois and America
        * With Frerichs victory, Dems move to merge Treasurer and Comptroller offices


        * Governor Quinn Appoints Jerry Stermer as Illinois Comptroller
        * Governor Quinn Calls Legislative Special Session - Governor Urges Legislature to Set Up 2016 Special Election for Comptroller
        * Governor Quinn Announces Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Hits New Low - Illinois’ Economic Comeback Continues; Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level in More than Six Years
        * Illinois Ranks #1 in Volunteer Rate Among the Country’s 8 Largest States - 2.57 Million Illinoisans Give $7.2 Billion in Service
        * Law Enforcement, IDOT Make Final Push to Save Lives in 2014, Roadside Safety Checks Planned Over Holidays - New Episode of “The Driving Dead” Premieres Friday as Holiday Travelers are Reminded to Drive Sober and Buckle Up




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller