Bill Allowing Cell Phone Videoing of Police Passes Senate without Dissent

After Tom Cross and many Illinois House Republicans did their best to defeat a bill that would allow people to video police while they were doing their jobs, a Federal Court held the bill sponsored by then-State Rep. Paul Simon’s wife-to-be Jeanne Hurley to be unconstitutional.

The Senate side of the State Capitol as seen from the Northwest.

While the vote was 71-45 in the House before the Federal Appeals Court decision on constitutiionality, the Senate voted unanimously to loosen the 1950’s “good government” bill.

Here’s the short version of what the bill does:

Provides that a person who is not a law enforcement officer nor acting at the direction of a law enforcement officer may record the conversation of a law enforcement officer who is performing a public duty in a public place and any other person who is having a conversation with that law enforcement officer if the conversation is at a volume audible to the unassisted ear of the person who is making the recording.

Provides that if a recorded conversation authorized under this exemption to the eavesdropping statute is used by the complainant as part of the evidence of misconduct against the officer and is found to have been intentionally altered by or at the direction of the complainant to inaccurately reflect the incident at issue, it must be presented to the appropriate State’s Attorney for a determination of prosecution.

Effective immediately [upon signature by the Governor].


Bill Allowing Cell Phone Videoing of Police Passes Senate without Dissent — 2 Comments

  1. Why exempt law enforcement? Anyone having a conversation with law enforcement should presume such conversation is public-include both law enforcement AND citizens.

    The future of law enforcement is pretty clear, officers will have cameras too-open the language up for both sides and make IL a one party state for “eavesdropping”.

    Officers already record traffic stops-remove any appearance of impropriety and permit officers and the public to audio and video record, period. No one should have ANYTHING to hide, keep everything above board and permit all sides to view/listen to recordings.

    This would reduce misconduct allegations against officers, certainly reduce officers from being abusive/corrupt and serve as real evidence for any crime. Just have a witness/victim give their verbal statement to the officer (as well as the benefit of chronically crime that happens in front of the officer).

    Governor Quin should mandate the Legislature present a bill permitting recording all around…

  2. It’s funny that the assembly is rushing to sell out the cops.

    Heaven forbid that the entire eavesdropping statute is found unconstitional and our legislators would have to live in fear of having their extortion attempts recorded.

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