Friday, June 10, 2011

Should Cops' On-Duty Activity Be Considered Private?

Radley Balko, writer at, wrote about the Illinois attorney general's office prosecuting private citizens who video or audio tape police persons performing their duties. There is a law in Illinois that prohibits such recording without the recorded party's knowledge.

This wouldn't be so bad, except the citizens who are being prosecuted were recording activity or conversations by law enforcement officials who were either breaking the law or were alleged to have done so. It also wouldn't be so bad if the law enforcement officials in question were under investigation or even chastised for their actions.

One woman who had filed a complaint about a police officer touching her inappropriately continued to be given the run-around by department officials. When she visited the police station and was spoken to by an officer who tried to intimidate her out of making such a complain, the woman recorded the activity on her Blackberry. In doing so, she committed a crime. The officer who is alleged to have touched her inappropriately has been under review for more than 10 months with no action taken to date.

How can the common citizen protect himself or others from those sworn to serve and protect them? If making complaints to their superiors falls on deaf ears, what other than a recording might a person use to protect himself?

No comments:

Post a Comment