An Illinois woman arrested for video recording police on her friend’s property is receiving a $1117,500 settlement.
But Naperville officials last week insisted this hefty sum was in no way an admission that its cops “acted wrongfully.”
However, anybody viewing the video showing utility workers and police entering the residential property to install a wireless meter should be able to see they not only acted wrongfully, but unlawfully as well.
The incident took place in Naperville on January 23, 2013 as utility workers were trying to install a “smart meter” outside the home of Jennifer Stahl, who was part of a group that opposed such meters on the beliefs that they were a health risk.
Stahl’s friend, Malia “Kim” Bendis, who was also part of the group, was on the property recording the workers, who were accompanied by four Naperville cops.
One of the cops, Sergeant. Nick Liberio, arrested her after telling her he did not give her consent to record him.
But Stahl did not give him consent to enter her property either and that made no difference.
Besides, the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, which had led to several felony arrests over the years without a single conviction, had already been ruled unconstitutional by then.
So consent to record him, as ridiculous as that sounds, was not needed.
Especially considering a news crew was at the scene recording the cops, the utility workers, the two women and the eventual arrest.
Despite all that, Bendis was charged with misdemeanor eavesdropping, indicating that they already know they had no case because all the previous arrests were felonies.
Videos of the arrest and of the news report of the arrest and the controversy over the meters are posted below.
Read up on the current Illinois eavesdropping law here, which went into effect this year.