A video that was apparently shot ten years ago in Chicago provides an excellent educational tool in how to deal with cops who try to intimidate you from recording them.
The ironic part of the video is that police did have the legal right to arrest the man at the time, only they probably didn’t realize it.
After all, Illinois has the most Draconian wiretapping/eavesdropping laws in the country, forbidding citizens from recording cops without their consent, even if they have no expectation of privacy.
The law is still in the books although a federal court ruled earlier this year that the law is “likely unconstitutional” and that police should not enforce it until the courts come to a final decision.
The wiretapping law was never intended to be used against citizens who video record cops in public, but it began getting abused that way a few years ago with the proliferation of cameras with several citizens brought up on felony charges for doing what would be protected under the Constitution in any other state.
However, while cops were arresting citizens, city officials were discretely recording newspaper reporters without any fear of getting arrested.
Anyway, back to the video. The title says it was recorded July 27, 2002 but it wasn’t uploaded to Youtube until January 4, 2010 where it has amassed just under 8,000 page views, which is not much considering it is very solid video showing a man standing up to Chicago police officers conducting some type of checkpoint.
I sent him a message through Youtube to get more information but if he is anything like me, he won’t see that message for another few months.
The cops tell the videographer that he is not allowed to record the license plates on cars, which is complete hogwash considering they are plainly visible.
The man asserts his rights and the cops bring over a pair of prosecutors from the state attorney’s office who are as clueless as the pair of prosecutors from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office who tried to convict me last week; Thomas D. Graham and Ari Pregen.
Apparently, it doesn’t take much to become a prosecutor.