“Illinois Eavesdropping Laws: Bill Would Expand Recording Rights For Police, But Not The Public” @ Huffington Post

Posted on April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012: “Though legislation that would have allowed private citizens to record police officers while on the job in public spaces was killed by the Illinois state legislature last month, a new bill aimed at carving out new exceptions to the state’s so-called eavesdropping law advanced last week.

The proposal, House Bill 4081, would allow undercover police officers to audio record suspected drug offenders without a judge’s prior approval. The measure, sponsored by state Rep. Jehan Gordon (D-Peoria) was approved by a vote of 99-12 in the state House of Representatives last Friday.

Police groups are backing the proposal. Terry Lemming, Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers Association president, explained to the Chicago Tribune that, based on his experience of working as an undercover officer, “I didn’t see the sense in spending all these hours drafting a court order when I could have already gone out and arrested a guy selling on the corner right there, and I think that’s the feeling of many narcotics officers.”

But those opposed to the state’s controversial eavesdropping law as it currently is written say that granting this allowance to officers — even as this specific bill only addresses drug investigations — could present a slippery slope into police seeking a green light to record those suspected of other crimes, according to the Tribune…………………………………………….”

Read more at Huffington Post.