“Nekritz re-introduces eavesdropping bill” @ Aledo Times Record
Posted on April 30, 2012
April 30, 2012: “Springfield, Ill. —Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Des Plaines, has introduced a bill that would make it legal for citizens to record police officers performing their public duties in public places.
A similar bill (HB 3944) failed last month after police organizations raised concerns that altered recordings might be used to file administrative complaints against police officers.
Nekritz said that issue has been addressed in Senate Bill 1808 with language directing any audio recording that alleges wrongdoing by a police officer to the state’s attorney for review if it has been intentionally altered to inaccurately reflect the incident. Additionally, she noted that there are several existing laws that could be used to prosecute the intentional misrepresentation of a recording.
Illinois law already allows citizens to videotape in public places, but audio recording without both parties’ consent is a class 1 felony. “The law has not kept up with technology,” Nekritz said. “The ubiquitous cell phone now puts everyone at risk of being a felon.”
There have been several instances in Illinois where citizens were arrested for recording police officers suspected of wrongdoing. In two of those cases, including one in Cook County, the felony charge of recording was declared unconstitutional. Yet, the threat of arrest still exists in Chicago.
Some police leaders have praised the bill as being useful in proving the innocence of police officers. Others have said the bill should allow more leeway for police to audio record citizens………………………………………………”
Read more at Aledo Times Record.