speeding ticket

S. C. strikes down Illinois law against filming cops

Going around Chicago neighborhoods, you will observe that surveillance cameras are installed at almost every intersection. These innovative and high tech devices are so sensitive that they have the capability of zooming so close as to identify the brand of soft drink a driver or pedestrian is drinking. Some equipment is so sophisticated that it can even read a newspaper half- 100-yard away. The auditory capability of the cameras is as sharp as a dolphin that it can catch conversations of pedestrians on the street, people inside vehicles, even the neighbors relaxing on their porch or yard. They are alerted in a split second to the direction of the sound of gunfire; they can zoom in to be bigger, take film and photograph the man or woman holding a weapon.

Several years ago, these cameras were set-up for the purpose of watching traffic at busy thoroughfare or street corners with problems. But today, the equipment has developed so much that they are as capable as the powers of Superman.

US Supreme Court has rejected an appeal made by an Illinois prosecutor to enforce a law prohibiting ordinary citizens from filming police officers doing their jobs. According to a lower federal court in Illinois, anti-eavesdropping law is a violation of free speech rights as it was used by the police and prosecutors against individuals who were engaged in recording law enforcement officers. This is a serious violation as it carries a penalty of 15-year imprisonment,

Union of American Civil Liberties, in 2010, also filed a law suit against State Attorney of Cook County, Anita Alvarez for her to stop arresting ACLU staffers who were taping cops in public places. ACLU from all over the country has been filming police action all the time. Usually, it was done with the permission of the departments and sometimes with the approval of individual police being filmed. The reaction of the officials in Illinois bewildered the ACLU staff when Illinois cops objected to being filmed and even worked for the passage of the law outlawing this type of filming.

Then the controversial issue was appealed to the Supreme Court for them to decide if the action was lawful or not. After much deliberation, the decision of the Supreme Court was then pronounced that it was not unlawful to film the police in action. The decision was greatly appreciated by Harvey Grossman who is the legal director for Illinois’ ACLU. All the members were gratified to learn that S. C decided that the ACLU of Illinois has the freedom to make the rights of free expression and petition effective. It is important for laws to allow individuals and organizations to gather freely and record information on the conduct of government and their agents—especially the police.

The director was especially thankful that the today people are able to enjoy the advent and widespread accessibility of new technologies such as recording and dissemination of pictures and sound which are done inexpensively, efficiently and easily. Such technologies were not enjoyed by people years ago so they were not able to express themselves freely.

If you have received a traffic ticket, please contact an experienced speeding ticket lawyer. Protect your right to drive legally.

Source: All Voices Com

(http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/13478886-supreme-court-strikes-down-illinois-law-against-filming-cops)

Posted in Chicago
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