Freedom Discussions

Illinois Just Made it a Felony for Its Citizens to Record the Police and the Media is Silent

Only a government that lives like cockroaches in the darkness would pass a law criminalizing the act of turning on the light.

from TFTP

filming-the-police-illegal-illinoisIn March of this year the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s eavesdropping law, and rightfully so, as it was touted as the most unconstitutional law of its kind in the country.

But Illinois, being the the corrupt and violent police state that it is, couldn’t let their police and other government officials be held accountable by its citizens.
The bill is back, and with a vengeance.

The Amendment to Senate Bill 1342 was introduced on Tuesday, Dec. 2, as an amendment to an existing bill on a completely different subject. The amendment removed all of the bill’s previous content and replaced it with the new ban on recording. The House passed it the following day, and the Senate passed it the day after that.

This bill passed both the Illinois House and Senate with overwhelming majority votes; 106-7 in the House on and 46-4-1 in the Senate. Democrats and Republicans alike slipped this bill by the citizens as they were debating on whether the General Assembly would raise the state’s minimum wage or make the 67% temporary income tax hike permanent, neither of which passed.

According to IllinoisPolicy.org, the bill discourages people from recording conversations with police by making unlawfully recording a conversation with police – or an attorney general, assistant attorney general, state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney or judge – a class 3 felony, which carries a sentence of two to four years in prison. Meanwhile, the bill makes illegal recording of a private citizen a class 4 felony, which carries a lower sentencing range of one to three years in prison.

There’s only one apparent reason for imposing a higher penalty on people who record police in particular: to make people especially afraid to record police. That is not a legitimate purpose. And recent history suggests it’s important that people not be afraid to record police wherever they perform their duties so that officers will be more likely to respect citizens’ rights, and officers who do respect citizens’ rights will be able to prove it.

Below is some of the vague wording from this legislation.

(a) Eavesdropping, for a first offense, is a Class 4 felony (from Ch. 38, par. 14-4) and, for a second or subsequent offense, is a Class 3 felony.

(b) The eavesdropping of an oral conversation or an electronic communication of any
law enforcement officer, State’s Attorney, Assistant State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, or a judge, while in the performance of his or her official duties, if not authorized by this Article or proper court order, is a Class 3 felony, and for a second or subsequent offenses, is a Class 2 felony

The wording in this bill is also written in such a way that it could stifle the recent police accountability measures of body cameras. Police may argue that using body cameras to record encounters with citizens outside of “public” places would violate the law, as citizens have not consented to being recorded.
Only a government that lives like cockroaches in the darkness would pass a law criminalizing the act of turning on the light.

Transparency and accountability in government are what prevent tyranny. When the state passes laws which prevent these things, the direction in which they are trying to move is obvious.

Other than a few small media outlets covering this blow to free speech, the MSM has been largely silent. Please help expose it, by sharing this story to expose this horrible blow to government accountability.

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/illinois-felony-citizens-record-police-media-silent/#KzytuDg6csO4Wum1.99

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Militant Libertarian

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