Is 75 Years in Prison for Recording Police in Public Constitutional? Illinois Says Yes

Three years ago, an Illinois man named Michael Allison was arrested for videotaping police in public in accordance with the state’s extremely strict wiretapping laws. He faced up to 75 years in prison for his crime, but a few months ago an Illinois judge ruled that the laws were unconstitutional and threw out the case. However, the State of Illinois is now appealing to the Supreme Court to have the dismissal overturned.

(via Boing Boing)

  • Richard Ford

    USA – land of the free eh?

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like another attempt at a police state.  If people on taxpayer payroll don’t want to be filmed while they’re on duty in public, maybe they need to find another job.  If filming that is illegal, then where is the accountability?

  • gabe sturdevant

    So any security cameras in the area of a cop must be disabled as well. 

  • Aydensgrace

    Yes, it is. What about the case where a woman was brutalized by police and a neighbor recorded it on a cell phone but was then harased by police. They should, absolutely, NOT be above the law and should NOT be free from being filmed. Absolutely ridiculous. I hope the Supreme Court is smart about this.

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  • Steven Bandyk

    First off, IANAL so this is just my understanding..

    In Illinois, and in many places, you can record video if it’s obvious (cameras in clear view or notices posted) but you can not record converstations without consent, not on your own property or in public areas (varies by state and locality).   There was another case, years ago, where someone was charged with a felony because he felt the police were harassing him so he installed an camera with audio recording at his front door.  As I recall (I could be mistaken), he was charged after using the video and audio to prove they made an illegal entry into his house.

  • sunsense

    Someone (ACLU) should have stepped up.

    I think this comes under the  ‘unusual’  part of  ‘cruel and unusual punishment’.

    But let the Government get away with making illegal laws and policing them and the failure of the justice system to revoke obvious incorrect laws and this is what you get.

  • Vesco6

    So just what are “they” afraid of?  Damn,  America can be so jacked up, at times.