Monday, January 24, 2011

Facing decades of hard time for daring to record the cops in public

In an update to a story we commented on in 2009, the ACLU has lost a federal suit claiming an Illinois law is unconstitutional, and therefore two people in Chicago are going to have to face trials on felony eavesdropping charges for simply recording their interactions with police officers on a downtown street and in police headquarters, respectively, both public places with no expectation of privacy for anyone:

From a New York Times article on the developments:

"Mark Donahue, president of the [Chicago] Fraternal Order of Police, said his organization 'absolutely supports' the eavesdropping act as is and was relieved that the challenge had failed. Mr. Donahue added that allowing the audio recording of police officers while performing their duty 'can affect how an officer does his job on the street.'"

It sure can and usually does, mostly to the great benefit of those who are interacting with those street cops.  What is it the peasants are always told when they complain about the ubiquitous government surveillance cameras popping up everywhere?  "If you aren't doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about".  Well, why doesn't the same standard apply as well to people who happen to wear a badge for a living?

The two defendants each face up to 15 years in prison for documenting public safety officers performing their taxpayer-funded jobs in public.  Now that hardly seems right, to say the least, but then again this is Chicago, where if you aren't "connected" in some fashion to the local Democratic political machine you are completely out of luck when it comes to fair treatment from the "authorities" there.

Your elitist, cops-are-more-important-than-everyone-else attitude towards this issue sucks, Mr. Donahue, and frankly is just another check mark on the long list of reasons for freedom-loving citizens to never visit and spend their hard-earned discretionary dollars in the corrupt cesspool of the Windy City.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. They may have to depend on the jury recognizing utter BS and refusing to convict.