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News Link • Police State

Seventh Circuit Bars Use of Illinois Law To Prosecute Citizens For Videotaping Police

• http://jonathanturley.org, Chicago Tribune
We previously discussed the rather shocking treatment Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner gave an ACLU lawyer over the right of citizens to videotape police in public. As discussed in prior columns and blogs, police across the country have been arresting citizens who film them — a clear abuse of their rights and an effort to prevent citizens from creating incriminating videotapes increasingly used against police. The Seventh Circuit has now barred the use of the law to prosecute citizens for videotaping. Posner dissented and showed, again, a dismissive view of the rights of the citizens vis-a-vis police. The court majority slams State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez for her extreme views expressed in the case and effort to strip videotaping of constitutional protections.

Cook County has been on the forefront of cracking down on citizens attempting to film police. The Illinois law allows for sentences of up to 15 years in prison for those who record audio of police conversations without consent. The ACLU challenged the law by saying that they wanted to film police to create a film as part of a “police accountability program.”

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