Illinois Eavesdropping Law -Why is it back? who/what is protected?
Remember the Old Illinois Eavesdropping Law? It was hotly contested by many in Illinois, major public interest, local and international media and social media all were astounded by the arrests and prosecutions under this law. including the case of Chris Drew, Street Artist’s battle against unexpected charges–Prior to this, hardly anyone even heard of this law, This STILL is a hot topic, since rearing its ugly head to major notice in 2009. .
reference: early posting on APA site, for background on first showing of film:
I saw this first hand. I documented Chris Drew (1949-2012) and his journey stating “Art IS Speech” He was selling Art for a $1 to protest the Peddler’s Ordinance but was charged with a Class 1 felony faced 4-15 years in prison , for audio recording his own arrest! he Spent 2.5 years in the court system – defended by Mark Weinberg, on Civil Rights, and then Joshua Kutnick, for the Criminal Defense–and he won! vs State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez (“Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” documentary film, 2014)
and many others in Illinois, including Tiawanda Moore and Michael Allison were brought in on charges and had to challenge their arrests in courtThe media buzzed locally, social, national and international on his case and many others.
The law that was declared unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court in March 2014. Now fast forward, New Illinois Eavesdropping Law approved by majority in the House and Senate and signed into Law by outgoing Gov. Quinn Dec. 2014.
The ACLU of Illinois opposed the new statute
Unfortunately, compared to the last version of the Illinois eavesdropping statute, the new statute significantly expands the circumstances when police and informants may record and intercept private conversations and phone calls without all-party consent or a warrant. We know of no evidence that the prior version of the statute, which required police to seek judicial approval, was any impediment to law enforcement in these instances. We are concerned about the expanded number of cases where no judicial officer will provide a check on police. On this basis, the ACLU of Illinois opposed the new statute.
So in 2015 and we have the New Illinois Eavesdropping Law leaves many in the land of freedom..now in the land of uncertainty-especially in Chicago and Illinois.
Why is this law back? I have been trying to grasp this issue, and reading many articles, including the Law itself. I write this to bring awareness, and may you come to your own conclusions, So, how can the Original Illinois Eavesdropping Law, in March 2014, be thrown out as unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court and now be back ?
My overall perspective is that the new law has ambiguous language, making it easier to have options for confusion, leaning strongly on the side of police and courts for interpretation. You will need a good lawyer, for sure.
When you read this, it may just start you thinking too..Who is being protected? Why is Illinois only one of a few states that keeps a law like this?.
As always, more questions than answers.
YES you still can photograph/videotape/audiotape police in public…but there is text in the new law which makes you wonder– about the definitions of Public VS Private.
a few references- the interpretations vary:
Free Speech it is our constitutional right!
Bring on the bodycams for police? Evidence on both sides is important. Keep videotaping! evidence is important. as you know..
“It is never over when it comes to fighting for your rights” – Chris Drew, Street Artist
Pursue peace through justice.
©2012 NATO. first time legal to audio record police in public in Illinois