Saturday, October 5, 2013

Court Strikes Down Illinois Law Making Video of Police a Felony

Until this week, videoing this in Illinois was felony
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, struck down an Illinois law
that made recording police, or any other public official, a felony.

The law expanded Illinois' Wiretap Act to prohibit any recording with sound of police or any other public official during the performance of their official duties.  The District Court upheld the law.  In reversing, the 7th Circuit Court described the law as the broadest in the nation.  The court found it exceeded permissible bounds of protecting privacy, which was not applicable to police performing their public duties.

The law suit was brought by the Illinois ACLU, which maintained that its videographers who were filming police were threatened with prosecution.

Noted conservative jurist Richard Posner dissented.  He argued that there law protected potential private conversations which citizens might have with police, and further societal security and privacy.

The case undoubtedly will be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.  However the Supreme Court is under no obligation to review the case.

photo credit: <a href="">Wurz</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>