Illinois judge: law barring recording police is unconstitutional

Source: Ars Technica
Author: Megan Geuss
Coverage Type: reporting
Chicago, IL, United States

Judge Stanley J. Sacks declared Illinois' eavesdropping law -- which is one of the toughest in the nation -- unconstitutional in his ruling in the case of Christopher Drew, who was charged with the felony crime in 2009. The eavesdropping law prohibits citizens from making audio or visual recordings of others without every recorded person's explicit consent. Sixty-year-old artist Drew audio-recorded his interaction with a police officer who was arresting him for selling art patches at the side of the road. A police officer found the tape recorder and Drew found himself with a Class 1 felony charge, which carries up to 15 years in prison. “That's one step below attempted murder,” Drew said.


The has issued an informational video and a press release, to help the media and the general public in the upcoming oral argument at the Illinois Supreme Court hearing in Annabel Melongo’s eavesdropping case. The hearing is scheduled for January 14th, 2014, at the 18th floor of the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago at 9.30 am.

Press Release:

Please support this cause. The Illinois Eavesdropping law at its very core creates a two-class legal system wherein the conversations of the powerful and well-connected are protected to the detriment of the less powerful. The upcoming oral argument presents a unique opportunity for the common citizen to re-establish that legal balance that will unequivocally establish a right to record public officials in their public duties.

Therefore, please contribute to this all-important hearing by either attending it, writing about it, spreading the word or just forwarding the below video and press release to anybody who might be of any help.

paulsimon on January 5, 2014 - 3:20am.

This is a two-parts investigative reports on Melongo’s Eavesdropping Case:

amorro on November 9, 2012 - 9:34pm.

RCFP's Article On Melongo's Dismissing her Eavesdropping Case:

amorro on July 31, 2012 - 9:03pm.

Melongo’s Eavesdropping Case Dismissed: Another Blow To Illinois Eavesdropping Law

Upon the defendant's motion[1], Judge Goebel filed his written order[2] dismissing Melongo's eavesdropping case on June 19th, 2012. The state hasn't decided if it will appeal.
Melongo's motion :
State's response:

amorro on July 29, 2012 - 7:07pm.


Javascript is required to view this map.



Login to rate this headline.