IL has worst law in the country on public recording of on-duty police

Posted: May 23, 2010 by tennesseetree in Local Issues, Terrible Wrongs - Other Cases, The Causes of Wrongful Convictions, Uncategorized

Take a look at this opinion piece by Radley Balko; senior editor of Reason Magazine, which appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times (here). Radley points out that the Illinois law which makes it a Class I felony (punishable by up to 15 years in prison) for anyone to record an on-duty police officer or any other public official, without their knowledge or permission, is the most extreme law on the subject in the country and that it is so bad that state prosecutors probably don’t enforce it very often because they probably recognize that it unconstitutional.

Radley defends the right of the public to legally record the actions of the police  and notes that, so often, this is how we learn of abuses of power in other countries (through the portrayals and information we garner from homemade videos and other pictures), so why not those in our own society where police and other officials should have no expectation of privacy in the carrying out of their duties?

Hopefully,  the action Lisa Madigan took with the State of Illinois FOIA act and Governor Pat Quinn’s declaration that he intends to push for more “open” state government; some public attention will be drawn to this issue to change this outdated law.

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