Monday, November 26, 2012

Supreme Court: Citizens Recording their Contacts With Police Officers is Constitutionally Protected Activity

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's efforts to protect tyranny were defeated in the US Supreme Court.
Washington, DC—The State of Illinois had a so-called Anti-Eavesdropping Law.  It barred the recording of any conversations without the consent of all parties.  A violation of this law was a serious felony that could put violators in prison for up to 15 years.  Today, tyranny was defeated because that law is dead.  Perhaps now, The Truth Will Set You Free!
The intent of the law was in itself disingenuous or downright nefarious.  As we all know, the truth can be very dangerous.  Illinois politicians made sure that that the truth could never be used against them.  This was their response to the burgeoning use of tape recorders in the 1950s.  Politicians bribery and extortion activities were being exposed by the devices and the law would bar the use of the recordings as evidence against them.   They more properly could have called their creation, The Public Official Bribery Protection Act.
The law could not be limited to protect public officials and covered all conversations.  This law also prevented news organizations from running hidden camera stings where voices were also recorded.  The law did nothing to protect privacy but went a long way to protect criminals.   
People who were ignorant of the law were the ones usually arrested for this notorious crime.  Often they were people that were simply trying to document crimes being committed against them.  There were also people arrested that were simply trying to authenticate conversations where promises or representations in case the people later tried to lie about what was said.
The ACLU sought to prevent and or document the abuse of citizens by police.  In some cases the ACLU actually provided people with cheap video cameras to record their encounters with police.  The ACLU asked the U.S. District court to invalidate the law.  That matter has now been fully litigated and it is the law of the land throughout America.  Citizens can record their encounters with police without fear of arrest.
For my visitors that are cops remember that allows you to take a hidden recording device into internal affairs or situations where they are investigating you.  
Here is the decision that the Supreme Court has let stand:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul

Does that mean that the next time a police officer fails to take down my sexual assault complaint in writing against a teacher working at the same College

that I can record that African American police officer mis - informing me that my complaint against White teacher sexually assaulting me was too old to report!

- which of course later the police officer denied ever hearing my verbal complaint - which then led to my being beaten up in a California Courtroom by white Sheriffs Deputies.

Talk about victimization and revictimization!