“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.