Supreme Court Strikes Down Illinois Law Against Filming The Police
The Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear the appeal of a lower court's ruling that overturned an Illinois law against filming the police.
The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that found that the state’s anti-eavesdropping law violates free speech rights when used against people who tape law enforcement officers. The law sets out a maximum prison term of 15 years. Opponents of the law say the right to record police is vital to guard against abuses. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in 2010 against [Cook County State’s Attorney Anita] Alvarez to block prosecution of ACLU staff for recording police officers performing their duties in public places. It’s one of the group’s long-standing monitoring missions.The ACLU of Illinois issued a statement:
“The ACLU of Illinois continues to believe that in order to make the rights of free expression and petition effective, individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents—especially the police. The advent and widespread accessibility of new technologies make the recording and dissemination of pictures and sound inexpensive, efficient and easy to accomplish.”RELATED: Earlier this year the NYPD created a wanted poster that featured the photos and home address of a Harlem couple that had been filming them during the infamous "stop-and-frisk" operations.