Posts Tagged ‘arrest for videotaping’

More and more individuals are being empowered to use modern technology to defend themselves and to document events. Most individuals use their phone cameras and other devices automatically whenever they feel a need to record events which are transpiring and don’t even think twice about doing so because the technology is so immediate and easy to use. Plus, most of us feel that we have a right to protect ourselves, and we know that stuff you can get on YouTube or post on the internet is what will be listened to.

But, if you do this in Illinois, you face the risk of prosecution, even when you are recording wrongdoing by other individuals; not only law enforcement, but also just about any public official. As the article below shows, the law in IL is virtually the worst in the country. These laws need to be changed or challenged in court because they are being used improperly to sanction actions against ordinary citizens, and we have less freedom than individuals in other countries.

Chicago State’s Attorney Lets Bad Cops Slide, Prosecutes Citizens Who Record Them

“…In a study published the same year, University of Chicago Law Professor Craig B. Futterman found 10,000 complaints filed against Chicago police officers between 2002 and 2004, more than any city in the country. When adjusted for population, that’s still about 40 percent above the national average. Even more troubling, of those 10,000 complaints, just 19 resulted in any significant disciplinary action. In 85 percent of complaints, the police department cleared the accused officer without even bothering to interview him.

Yet Alvarez feels it necessary to devote time and resources to prosecuting Chicagoans who, given the figures and anecdotes above, feel compelled to hit the record button when confronted by a city cop…”

“…When a citizen and a police officer have a confrontation, the police officer’s narrative has always been given deference by prosecutors, judges and juries — in the same way governments in more oppressive parts of the world have the power to project their own version of events as truth.

Citizens in America and across the globe now have the ability to preserve and present a more objective narrative. This is a positive thing — for democracy, for good government and for a fairer criminal justice system. U.S. courts and legislatures need to make it abundantly, unambiguously clear that not only do citizens have the right to record on-duty police officers, but that cops and prosecutors who violate that right will be held accountable.”