The state of Illinois has just made it a felony to record the police. They could not have picked a worse time to do it, not to mention that it is wrong and largely unknown.
The bill just passed on December 2, as a part of a so-called amendment to a bill. In reality they gutted the whole first bill and added all of this in. It is called formally Amendment to Senate Bill 1342. A similar bill was struck down at the beginning of this year, but given all that has been going on, particularly with the vote on minimum wage it went by virtually undetected. It was introduced by Representative Elaine Nekritz.
They are calling it eavesdropping. Having read the bill I will transcribe the important passage below.
“Sec. 14-4 Sentence
- Eavesdropping for a first offense, is a Class 4 felony and, for a second or subsequent offense, is a Class 3 felony.
- 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.
Sec. 14-5. Evidence Inadmissible
- Any evidence obtained in violation of this Article is not admissible in any civil or criminal trial, or any administrative or legislative inquiry or proceeding, nor in any grand jury proceedings”.
You have to ask the permission of everybody being recorded in order for it to be legal. Otherwise it is a felony. To read the entire bill, just type in Amendment to Senate Bill 1342 and it will come up.
This is a gross violation of the rights of civilians. It is not only our right, but our duty to collect whatever evidence is required to prove wrongdoing on the part of law enforcement. Without these recordings it is our word against theirs and we have seen how that goes. With all that is going on, particularly with the protesting throughout Chicago, this bill cannot be allowed to stand.
We must fight against this bill and let them know we will not stand by while they unlawfully hush us up. Add this to the reasons to protest. Hold the Illinois General Assembly accountable for this. Go to www.ilga.gov to find the contact information for your state senator and representative. Contact Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois state leaders and let them know this bill is absolutely unacceptable. Continue to raise your voices and fight against injustice. We will list the most necessary numbers below. Flood the lines and call for repeal:
Speaker of the House- Michael Madigan- 312-814-4890 for Chicago
217-782-7936 for Springfield
President of the Senate- John Cullerton- 312-814-2075 for Chicago
217-782-2728 for Springfield
Photo Credited: Activist Post