Quantcast

«

»

Mar 27 2012

Illinois Republicans Kill Police Recording Bill

The Illinois legislature has been considering a bill that would allow citizens to record the police doing their jobs (with audio — it’s already legal to record video, but you can’t record the audio too). And Republicans in the state House have killed the bill.

“Citizens are unfortunately being charged under this current law for doing nothing more than what we already do every day, which is to take out our cell phone, open up the camera, and start recording,” said the sponsor of House Bill 3944, Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook,

The bill failed on a 45-59 vote. As a result, Illinois remains a “two-party consent” state when it comes to wiretapping. This means that everyone in a conversation must give their consent if they are to be recorded.

And they’re offering predictably absurd arguments against the bill:

One of the bill’s detractors, Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Freeport, said the bill opens the possibility for citizens to alter audio recordings of interactions with police to make them look bad.

Rep. Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville, agreed.

“We should not be creating an atmosphere where people enter this ‘got you’ mode and try to tape law enforcement, trying to catch them (doing things),” Watson said.

Yeah, what value is there in preventing the police from getting away with lying on reports, framing innocent people and brutalizing those they are paid to protect? What’s next, liberty and justice for all?

“Why should (the police) have to go get a court order to record these people when these people can record them?” said Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst.

Because the 4th Amendment requires it, you dolt. It’s in that constitution you folks claim so absurdly to revere.

31 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    The Lorax

    I dunno Ed, I’m looking at their list of 10 Laws and I don’t see that one on there. Just this stuff about sabbaths and how lying and stealing and murder is bad…

    Oh, wait…

  2. 2
    Chiroptera

    “Why should (the police) have to go get a court order to record these people when these people can record them?” said Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst.

    Actually, when “these people” are out in public, I think the police can record them without a court order.

    It is when “these people” are in their own homes that a court order becomes necessary. Just like “these people” aren’t allowed to go into police officers’ homes and record them without their knowledge.

    And this doesn’t get into the false equivalence being presented here: police officers are agents of the state who are authorized to use deadly force in order to protect the public; some feel that the public should have the ability to ensure that their agents are using that force in an appropriate manner.

    Hell, it’s the conservatives who make a big deal about monitoring and holding state agents accountable! At least if those state agents are public school teachers or health and safety inspectors.

    On the other hand, private citizens are considered to have a right to their privacy unless the agents of the state can show good reason to suspect that they are engaging in illegal activities. That’s pretty much supposed to be basic civics in a liberal democracy.

  3. 3
    LightningRose

    ‘“Why should (the police) have to go get a court order to record these people when these people can record them?” said Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst.’

    It’s all about expectation of privacy. The police, when on duty and interacting with the public, have no such expectation.

  4. 4
    fifthdentist

    I absolutely cannot, even after all I’ve read here and elsewhere, get my mind around the issue that we even have to talk about recording the performance of public, taxpayer supported officials carrying out their duties in PUBLIC places.
    In journalism classes the rule was taught that if something is even visible from a public place it’s fair game. So if the mayor is snorting meth and shagging his Belgian shepherd with his door open, and you can see it from the sidewalk, you were within your rights to photograph it.
    Even in Georgia I’ve only caught grief once for taking photos while standing on public property. And the school superintendent who threatened to have me arrested did have a legitimate concern, considering the circumstances at the time. But he apologized the next day.

  5. 5
    baal

    The current (R) leadership are pro-authoritarian bastards who want to live in a police state. This is one more of a long line of examples of that.

  6. 6
    Bronze Dog

    Republicans: Soft on corruption. Soft on police brutality. Soft on vigilantism. Soft on accountability. Soft on civil rights. Soft on maintaining a disciplined police force.

    What makes me sad is that there are probably many, many Democrats and independents who’d take on the same philosophy for fear that the public wouldn’t take kindly to people of firm principles.

  7. 7
    John Hinkle

    Rep. Jim Sacia, R-Freeport, said the bill opens the possibility for citizens to alter audio recordings of interactions with police to make them look bad.

    On the other hand, police would never plant evidence, modify police reports, selectively record interrogations, make shit up, etc. in order to stick someone in the crowbar hotel and hide their malfeasance.

  8. 8
    daved

    When I read the headline on this posting, my first reaction was to say “Bill Who?”

  9. 9
    wscott

    @ Chiroptera: Exactly right. Public place = no reasonable expectation of privacy, no matter who you are.

    @ Bronze Dog: They’re not soft on vigilanteism – they’re hard in favor of it!

  10. 10
    D. C. Sessions

    That’s pretty much supposed to be basic civics in a liberal democracy.

    You see, that’s the problem. It’s not supposed to be a liberal democracy. It’s supposed to be a conservative republic.

    Now shut up and do as you’re told.

  11. 11
    briandavis

    We should not be creating an atmosphere where people enter this ‘got you’ mode…

    Next step: make it illegal to record politicians. We wouldn’t want to create an atmosphere where the things they say might be thrown back in their faces.

  12. 12
    ashleybell

    I always got a kick out of comic-book villain’s perposterous take on evil. They were just in it to merely do evil… well, . Not so funny now. It’s like the republicans are not only incapable of doing the right thing…EVER!…It’s like they are deliberately trying do do harm with a diminishing need to pretend that they are acting in the interest of the public. There is no other conclusion than this: They ACTUALLY HATE US.

    This ruling will come before the courts very soon and be overturned. The thugs sure love wasting our time.

    I’m so frustrated lately, so I’m gonna say this even though I don’t really truly truly mean it. I know it’s wrong. But I’m just venting…deep breath…..

    I want them to die agonizing deaths, slow enough so that they can feel the indignity of loss of bodily function and control, but quick enough to get the fuck off my planet.

    Whew, sorry…Put better and more accurately: I do not wish them any harm but I’m now incapable of not taking some pleasure in their suffering. Love thy enemy my ass.

  13. 13
    peterh

    Is not memory one form of recording? Will that be outlawed as well?

  14. 14
    johnfromberkeley

    Hilarous. You’ve been on a roll lately!

  15. 15
    TCC

    Sorry to see that my Republican representative and the Republican representative from the town where I teach (I taught one of his kids) both voted no on it. Disappointing, but unfortunately predictable.

  16. 16
    scienceavenger

    So if I am taking a video of family and friends and a policeman walks into the background of the shot, does the law now require me to stop?

  17. 17
    Ace of Sevens

    The police already have dash cams which record whatever the public does in front their cars. No warrant needed. This isn’t even theoretical.

  18. 18
    tbp1

    These are, of course, the same people who insist that people who have nothing to hide shouldn’t be worried about warrantless wiretapping or other surveillance.

  19. 19
    Worldtraveller

    Does this mean that dashboard cams in Illinois are not allowed as evidence in trials? If both parties have to consent to the filming for it to be legal, wouldn’t that be the case (or does law enforcement not use DB cams in IL)?

  20. 20
    Dr X

    Does this mean that dashboard cams in Illinois are not allowed as evidence in trials? If both parties have to consent to the filming for it to be legal, wouldn’t that be the case (or does law enforcement not use DB cams in IL)?

    Filming is legal. It’s the audio portion that’s illegal. Dash cams in Illinois are not supposed to have audio. It’s illegal for anyone to audio record anyone else in Illinois, even in a public place, though for obvious reasons this would be problematic when anyone turns on a recording device in a public place. In practice, the only time this is prosecuted is when a citizen has caught a cop doing something unethical or illegal.

    The law makes one exception: if you have reason to believe someone is victimizing you in criminal act or if you are witnessing a criminal act, audio recording is legal to document the crime, so I suppose cops could have some wiggle room with audio-recording in crime situations and a citizen might be able to use that as a defense for recording a cop. In Chicago, you can even use your camera phone to video-audio record a crime in progress and upload it to 911 when you call.

    Another feature of the law is that it’s a misdemeanor to record a private citizen without consent, but a felony to record a cop. Shocking, huh? In the last couple of cases, defendants who recorded cops prevailed. In one instance, a woman decided to record cops who were actively trying to dissuade her from lodging a complaint against an officer who groped her during a domestic disturbance call. She was acquitted by a jury and the jurors subsequently said they decided that way because it was clear the cops were engaged in wrongdoing and they got caught. More recently, a judge in Cook County through out a case saying that it was unconstitutional. The reason this is getting attention now is that some prominent cases have served to highlight the fact that the law has only ever been enforced to protect corrupt cops who’ve been caught on tape. Leave it to Republican polls to protect corrupt men with guns.

  21. 21
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    LightningRose #3

    It’s all about expectation of privacy. The police, when on duty and interacting with the public, have no such expectation.

    Well duh, are you stoopid or something? You can’t record police because it’s a matter of national security. You hate this country, don’t you?

  22. 22
    abusedbypenguins

    I’m reading “The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich” and why republicans want to be nazis is beyound my ability to comprehend. For some reason authoritatanism is to sociopaths as shit is to flies. The 3 clowns spouting off as wanna be canditates would have been right at home running a nazi death camp. Killing people as efficently and as cheaply as possible, the capitalist and the facist are one and the same.

  23. 23
    Michael Heath

    “Why should (the police) have to go get a court order to record these people when these people can record them?” said Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst.

    That’s Palin dumb.

  24. 24
    Marcus Ranum

    Hey, cops: “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to hide” Did I get that right?

  25. 25
    Dr X

    @Michael Heath:

    That’s Palin dumb.

    Spot on. That is exactly the kind of unbearably stupid comment Palin would make.

  26. 26
    Marcus Ranum

    That’s Palin dumb.

    Is palindumb like a palindrome? Dumb whether you read it backward or forward?

  27. 27
    mishcakes

    Where can I find a list of who voted what? If the representative in my hometown of Rockford voted nay, s/he might get an angry letter.

  28. 28
    RW Ahrens

    I still have trouble with the idea that a recording in public, using a standard video recorder, or a phone, could be called “wiretapping”. Sounds like a stretch to me.

  29. 29
    Dr X

    Where can I find a list of who voted what? If the representative in my hometown of Rockford voted nay, s/he might get an angry letter.

    Your representative, Democrat Charles Jefferson, supported the bill, as did mine.

  30. 30
    Raging Bee

    The Republicans take this position AFTER Trayvon Martin got shot and the cops totally failed to do even the most basic parts of their job? Their lack of brains is matched only by their lack of shame.

  31. 31
    Raging Bee

    Andspeaking of Trayvon Martin, here’s another little editorial on the subject you might find interesting:

    http://open.salon.com/blog/kent_pitman/2012/03/24/legalized_murder

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site