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Cook County Judge Says Law Banning Recording Police Is Unconstitutional

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the isn't-anyone-offended-by-the-original-charge? dept.

Government 152

schwit1 writes "A Cook County judge Friday ruled the state's controversial eavesdropping law unconstitutional. The law makes it a felony offense to make audio recordings of police officers without their consent even when they're performing their public duties. Judge Stanley Sacks, who is assigned to the Criminal Courts Building, found the eavesdropping law unconstitutional because it potentially criminalizes 'wholly innocent conduct.' The decision came in the case of Christopher Drew, an artist who was arrested in December 2009 for selling art on a Loop street without a permit. Drew was charged with a felony violation of the eavesdropping law after he used an audio recorder in his pocket to capture his conversations with police during his arrest."

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Balancing between privacy and transparency (3, Insightful)

AgentSmitz (2587601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230205)

Hello,

On this internet site people think privacy and transparency can work together. They can, when we work together.

Thank you,
Agent Smitz

Link to Article Please (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230217)

Timothy you fucking moron. Where is the source of this submission? There is no article link in here. I'm sure everyone would love to read the details and comment further.

Once again, your "editors" at work.

Re:Link to Article Please (1, Troll)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230225)

Re:Link to Article Please (0)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230391)

Yes, because if we see something on Slashdot - a website, allegedly run by technically minded people, we can't expect them to provide a link for us can we?

Re:Link to Article Please (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230437)

kill yourself

Re:Link to Article Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230231)

relax, i'm a detective.

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22A%20Cook%20County%20judge%20Friday%20ruled%20the%20state's%20controversial%20eavesdropping%20law%20unconstitutional.

Re:Link to Article Please (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230251)

covering your ars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230421)

(sorry, couldn't resist)

deal with it (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230237)

Law enforcement officials need to get in line with the fact that society is going to require them to behave.

Those that can't need to find another line of work.

Re:deal with it (4, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230291)

You don't even have to imply anything about their behaviour. In fact since they are the good guys they have nothing to hide, so they should be recordable.

Now, there are corner cases where, say, an undercover cop would be exposed if a film of him in operation is PUBLISHED. But that's another matter. Let first citizen record whatever they want and use it to defend themselves in court. Let them also be responsible of all the damages they indirectly cause if the release of film to the publc damages some cop, which last time I checked is a citizen too and has equal rights).

Re:deal with it (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230325)

The problem is that there are a lot of bad cops out there. If you ore someone is getting arrested fore something they should have a record of it for themselves. There are too many cases when something goes wrong the police tape unexpectally cuts out.

Re:deal with it (5, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231431)

This is an opportunity for geeks to do something useful here.

What we need is a device with a video camera and microphone. Once the "record" button is depressed, it records and automatically uploads everything it captures to an off-site server that is secured w/ encryption. Moreover, it doesn't stop recording until a code is entered (to prevent a cop from tampering with it). With the cheapness of electronics nowadays we could probably create something like this for less than a hundred bucks (fees for transmission notwithstanding).

Or maybe just an iPhone/Android app...

Re:deal with it (4, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231553)

Half there: http://www.ustream.tv/everywhere/android [ustream.tv]

Just need to add in encryption and keycode for application of the "stop" button.

Re:deal with it (2)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231751)

Nobody cares. The cops do nasty stuff on camera all the time. Unless large parts of a city are set afire as a result, no one really cares. Most people know the cops are thugs in general, and will tell you so. But if anything specific actually happens, they'll blame the victim. Judges accept the cop's word over anything but an unambiguous recordings -- and often over those as well. Even when the cop's statements are demonstrably untrue. They can't not know the cops often lie; they are complicit in it.

If you want to stop bad cops, you'll need something more powerful than a camera.

Re:deal with it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39231871)

Paranoid much?

I'm afraid this is nonsense. Most of the cops I've known (professionally and socially) work their tails off, and wind up juggling rights versus safety as part of their frequent duties. I certainly did working private security and ambulance, and so did the cops I worked with. If the cops accept the police's word with more confidence, it's because they're usually correct to do so. There are bad cops, but from direct experience, they're in the majority.

In fact, the conly cops I knew who were on the take were sheriffs and deputies. Elected sheriffs, now *THERE* are a bunch of corrupt bastards and their inbred in-laws.....

Re:deal with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39232071)

I don't think there's hardly any paranoia involved when it comes to discussing police corruption and power abuse. Your 'Andy Griffith' view of how police interact with the public certainly does apply in many parts of the U.S. but by ignoring the many, many examples contrary to your rose-colored viewpoint you're either just very optimistic, or worse, trying to deceive. I agree that the majority of cops do take public service very seriously but whether the number of 'bad' cops is 10% or 49% that's an indicator of a really big societal problem.

Re:deal with it (5, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232105)

I agree most cops are good people who work hard BUT police have an institutionalized problem of protecting the bad cops. So even though there are only a few bad apples, departments and fellow officers generally protect the bad cops rather then prosecute them due to the whole 'brotherhood' sticking together.

Re:deal with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230705)

Let them also be responsible of all the damages they indirectly cause if the release of film to the publc damages some cop

WTF? "National security - may put agents at risk" is the routine excuse for not allowing recording everywhere because, well, you can't say which activity is undercover and which is mundane without revealing secrets.

If an innocent bystander can film some cop doing some sneaky undercover bullshit then so can a criminal. If the difference between success and failure in some undercover operation is "has someone accidentally seen it?" then the detectives' methodology is flawed.

I would be very interested to know how many non-prohibition crimes resulted in conviction primarily on covert police surveillance (i.e. not including informants).

Anyway, looking to common law on negligence, breaching duty of care means reasonable expectation that your actions will harm those closely+directly affected by your actions. I'm hoping that it's fairly rare that you, as a third party not involved with the criminals or the police, know who is an undercover cop. But this is the only case where it's "reasonably foreseeable" that you could fuck up what's going on - and in that case the operation is going to be so flawed that your two moral options are (i) tell the police to start over; (ii) publish the police's incompetence as a matter of public duty.

(i) and (ii) will probably both get you in trouble unless you're living in a particularly enlightened society (caught us with our pants down? you must be involved with the criminals...), but (ii) is the only one where you speak loudly enough that the public eye is on the cops' response.

Re:deal with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230513)

Uhmm.....this is kinda fucked up, because as good as it is that law was shot down, it should never had to have been. He was completely within his rights in the first place to record that conversation, as he was taking part in it, and this is already completely covered under one party consent which allows a conversation to be recorded as long as one of the involved parties consents.

Re:deal with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39232121)

It was more of a 'legacy' thing. The law dates back to when maybe not quite so innocent citizens would record their arrests and then use edited recordings in their court trials to make the arresting officer(s) sound like they messed up (i.e. leaving out 'Miranda rights') or whatever. It was an outdated law going back before smartphones and even before handheld video cams. Should be noted that in IL it was OK to record video of police, it was just the audio recording that was a felony.

No Problem (5, Interesting)

aix tom (902140) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230239)

The "Police" will just join the RIAA and then sue people on the angle that they recorded their performance.

Re:No Problem (5, Funny)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230275)

The Police [wikipedia.org] have been covered by the RIAA since the 1970s...

Re:No Problem (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230393)

The Police [wikipedia.org] have been ripped off and generally screwed over by the RIAA since the 1970s...

FTFY

Re:No Problem (3, Funny)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232221)

Thanks Sting. Although, there's no reason to post anonymously. We all know you're a member in good standing of /..

Re:No Problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230329)

Now, I'm just an european outsider but I find that being labeled 'interesting' instead of 'funny' actually quite 'scary'

Re:No Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230407)

It's because the likelihood of it being TRUE is quite high and USAarians have accepted this for some time now

Re:No Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39233013)

It really isn't. On any other forum it'd be "funny".

As someone that lives in Cook County, this is awful enough without the hyperbole.

Re:No Problem (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230527)

There needs to be a "+1, Terrifying" mod option.

Re:No Problem (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230899)

The "Police" will just join the RIAA and then sue people on the angle that they recorded their performance.

Hopefully taxpayer-funded "performances" can't be restrictively copyrighted...

Hello, context here (4, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230255)

The law attempted to prevent audio or video recording anyone without their consent [arstechnica.com] , not just police.

Of course - of course - it was abused by Illinois' finest, but that wasn't really who it was intended to protect.

Re:Hello, context here (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230293)

> The law attempted to prevent audio or video recording anyone without their consent [arstechnica.com], not just police.

IMHO, here lies the problem.

See, Stuart the man has a right about his privacy as anyone else -- but Officer Stuart has not.

People take different roles and live through corresponding different contexts. A Law Officer must be transparent at all times; while I will certainly not want to be nitpicky about how many post-its he uses, I certainly want his use of the gun monitored. A Police Officer has a public job and as such, he is accountable.

Re:Hello, context here (4, Insightful)

TCFOO (876339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231291)

I agree. Once a police officer puts on thier uniform s/he waves any right of privacy until they are off duty. Recording officers on duty creates evidence that can be used in court or by the departments internal affairs personell to punish bad cops or reward good cops.

Re:Hello, context here (3, Insightful)

pscottdv (676889) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232099)

Good idea. That way Officer Stuart can wait to beat me up after his shift is over and then arrest me for taping the incident without his consent.

Re:Hello, context here (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230713)

Of course - of course - it was abused by Illinois' finest, but that wasn't really who it was intended to protect.

There is no evidence of such in the law. Therefore you are simply being a cheerleader. Are you an employee of the state of Florida?

You can't have it both ways (4, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230273)

Police just love it when they record suspects and will use other sources of recordings besides those given with consent against suspects. Those suspects should also have the right to use recordings in their defense. If you ban recordings, then the ban should be on both sides. That would mean every dashboard mounted camera should be removed from all those police cars if this law was allowed to stand.

Re:You can't have it both ways (4, Insightful)

hldn (1085833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230349)

hate to break it to you, but the cops that don't want the public recording them would be just fine not having dash cams in their own cars too.

Re:You can't have it both ways (4, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230619)

Oh, they're not worried about their dash cams. They can always "lose" the footage if it's too damaging... [reason.com]

Re:You can't have it both ways (5, Informative)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230637)

After all, look at the "failure" rate!! [wtop.com] :

Lawyers for McCarren say she was investigating possible misuse of government resources and following a county official when she and her cameraman were pulled over by seven police cars. The official had called police about a suspicious vehicle.

McCarren says police dislocated her shoulder and tore her rotator cuff in the incident. Neither she nor her cameraman, Peter Hakel, was ever charged with any violations.

[...]

Questions still remain unanswered as to why police were unable to produce video of the incident from their cameras.

Prince George's County Police vehicles are required to have dashboard video cameras operating as part of an understanding with the U.S. Department of Justice reached in 2004.

Police have denied repeated media outlet requests to review the video.

At the time of the incident county officials, including County Executive Jack Johnson, said none of the cameras in the seven police cars was working.

Re:You can't have it both ways (5, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231453)

McCarren says police dislocated her shoulder and tore her rotator cuff in the incident. Neither she nor her cameraman, Peter Hakel, was ever charged with any violations.

That's strange. I'm not a lawyer so I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it, if a cop physically harms you but does not charge you with resisting arrest, he is effectively admitting he assaulted you for no reason.

At the time of the incident county officials, including County Executive Jack Johnson, said none of the cameras in the seven police cars was working.

Ever heard of a contract of adhesion? It's when a big entity like your insurance company draws up a standard contract. You have little or no ability to negotiate the wording or terms of the contract. It's a take-it-or-leave-it deal. The flip side is that any unclear or unspecified terms in that contract are automatically interpreted in your favor.

We need a concept like that for police and their "broken" dashboard cameras. If the cameras are faulty or footage is missing, it is assumed that whatever story the citizen tells is the correct one. Overnight, police departments would suddenly start doing a better job maintaining their "faulty" equipment.

Re:You can't have it both ways (2)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232743)

I'm not a lawyer so I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it, if a cop physically harms you but does not charge you with resisting arrest, he is effectively admitting he assaulted you for no reason.

Well I am not a lawyer either, but generally speaking police are protected for their behavior if it is done in good faith in the course of their duties. That's pretty clearly the case here: Somebody called the police about a suspicious vehicle and they stopped it and detained the passengers. They're fully justified in that and their conduct is largely protected based on their operating on good faith, even if no charges are ultimately filed. It wasn't assault just because of a lack of charges.

That said, it seems likely that they operated with excessive force and that is why the tapes mysteriously disappeared. It's now the word of you and your cameraman against (presumably) seven police officers and pretty much the only thing they have to say is that you were resisting. They could certainly charged with excessive force, and you might even be able to find a way to charge them with assault in that specific circumstance if there was nothing justified about the way they were treating you to begin with. That part I have no idea about. But it's not assault simply because you got hurt and not charged, and it's why the cameras are magically broken to begin with.

FEAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230695)

Have you noticed that whenever you see anyone say "turn that camera off" you can sense a deep underlying fear in them?

There scared cause there conscious isn't clear

Re:FEAR (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231477)

Have you noticed that whenever you see anyone say "turn that camera off" you can sense a deep underlying fear in them?

There scared cause there conscious isn't clear

That is not entirely true. I have seen times where someone has been saying "turn that camera off" because they know that the person (or the organization behind the person) cannot be trusted to present what is recorded in context. As an example, someone says, "When he said, 'I don't have to do obey the law.' I told him that he did indeed." Some untrustworthy sources have cut that to show that someone saying, "I don't have to obey the law."
However, you are correct that most of the time when someone says "turn that camera off" it is because they do not want a record of what they are going to do.

Interesting grounds... (3, Interesting)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230287)

I'm all in favor of the result of this decision, but this makes no sense: "... unconstitutional because it potentially criminalizes 'wholly innocent conduct."

Isn't it the very purpose of criminal law to criminalize what would otherwise be innocent conduct? What law wouldn't be stuck down by this reasoning?

I'd love to RTFA to find out more, but there's NO LINK. Source please?

Re:Interesting grounds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230381)

Isn't it the very purpose of criminal law to criminalize what would otherwise be innocent conduct? What law wouldn't be stuck down by this reasoning?

I don't think he meant "innocent" in the not-breaking-the-law sense, but more in the "not against the reasonable moral rules of society" innocent.

"A parent making an audio recording of their child’s soccer game, but in doing so happens to record nearby conversations, would be in violation of the Eavesdropping Statute.”

So in this case the eavesdropping law would be applied to someone the law wasn't intended to criminalise and who shouldn't reasonably be criminalised for what they were doing. In other words, he's saying the law was way too broadly worded and was picking up people who were doing reasonable things the law wasn't supposed to cover.

Re:Interesting grounds... (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230399)

I don't think he meant "innocent" in the not-breaking-the-law sense, but more in the "not against the reasonable moral rules of society" innocent. .... he's saying the law was way too broadly worded and was picking up people who were doing reasonable things the law wasn't supposed to cover.

We have LOTS of laws that criminalize innocent activity even in the "reasonable moral rules of society" sense. Is there anything in the Constitution that actually forbids such laws? Perhaps there should be, but IS there?

Ninth Amendment (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231371)

Is there anything in the Constitution that actually forbids such laws?

You mean other than the Ninth Amendment, which clarifies that people have other rights that happen not to be listed in the Bill of Rights, and the Fourteenth Amendment, which requires due process and equal protection from the several states?

Re:Ninth Amendment (2)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231429)

There's definitely no violation of the Fourteenth. You can have due process and equal protection even with an unjust law. You do something unintentionally, they haul you in, the facts are evaluated by a jury, and the judge sentences you. Due process is given.

I think the Ninth is greatly underappreciated, but at present it's pretty well established that unfair laws and laws with collateral damage are still valid laws. What right do you think applies in this case? Is there any case history for it?

Specifically? I'd say the First (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232491)

What right do you think applies in this case?

I imagine that the right to record in a public place is implicit in the First Amendment right to free expression. Practical free expression requires the ability to back up your assertions with evidence, be it original research or citations, and recording is one way of collecting evidence. And because political speech is historically the most thoroughly protected kind of free speech, this would include collecting evidence about abuses perpetrated by the executive branch of the government.

Is there any case history for it?

Sorry. I'm not a lawyer or even a professional paralegal, so I can't recall off hand any relevant rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Re:Interesting grounds... (2)

adamstew (909658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231033)

I'm pretty sure the judge's intent was that with this law, a convenience store owner could be arrested and charged with a felony because a policeman walked in to his convenience store and his cameras caught it on tape.

Re:Interesting grounds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39231425)

That's not the case. The law has nothing to do with video, only audio.

Re:Interesting grounds... (3, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231449)

What law wouldn't be stuck down by this reasoning?

Anything that is a malum in se offense, for starters. Murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary... these are not innocent conduct.

Re:Interesting grounds... (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231729)

That depends on the meaning of innocent. If there was no law against murder, murder would be "wholly innocent conduct" in the eyes of the law.

If you take innocent in a less legal sense (as clearly intended), there are still a great many laws where "innocent conduct" - not intending any harm or perceiving the possible commission of a crime - is nonetheless illegal.

Damned art peddlers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230309)

Nope, I'm not offended by the original charge. Why is it supposed to offend me, because he was selling art without a permit? You need a permit to sell stuff in the street. Art, pretzels, beer, handguns, laminated nose-pickers, Cubs hats. Whatever. It's to keep the mobs of vendors under control - if it wasn't for the permit requirement, there'd be so many people selling gewgaws on some streets no one could walk down the danged road.

It's not something you'd usually be arrested over, though. Generally you'd get a ticket and the cops would run you off. This guy, however, deliberately made a scene and got himself arrested to provoke a 'test case' of the peddling permit laws; he doesn't like them.

The eavesdropping charge is worth getting worked up over. Being arrested in the first place for peddling illegally isn't.

Honestly! (2)

byrdfl3w (1193387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230311)

You'd think Sting was used to being recorded by now.

File a complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230331)

Have you ever tried to file a complaint?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8v7lF5ttlQ

Cook County Tax Assessor Collector's Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230339)

I think it's OK so long as you're on a mission from God.

It's sad this was required... (3, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230359)

And it's sad that we're here to cheer about something that should have been the status quo in the first place.

The law never should made it illegal to record the police. I suspect this is mostly a law designed to protect slippery government officials from getting snagged by whistle blowers.

I any case... it's disgusting this ever was law in the first place.

The police cannot be a legitimate servant of the law or the people so long as such laws remain on the books. They are entirely and manifestly unacceptable.

Re:It's sad this was required... (5, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230789)

Its a law designed to prevent me from recording you without your permission. Its written to prevent citizens from recording other citizens without permission, what happened however is that the cops tried to claim that it was illegal to record them because they are also citizens. While this is true, when operating in the capacity of a public servant, some exceptions must be made to protect the public from abuse.

This is simply a case of the police manipulating a law intended to protect you, that was poorly written (well, they found an obvious loophole at the least) and taken advantage of by corrupt police.

If you actually look at the court case, the judge also really doesn't have a problem with the spirit of the law, its just implemented and used in a way that he feels isn't allowed for.

Re:It's sad this was required... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39231521)

"This is simply a case of the police manipulating a law intended to protect you, that was poorly written (well, they found an obvious loophole at the least) and taken advantage of by corrupt police."
This is how the entire US Constitution is "interpreted" today, and also why it is desperately in need of an overhaul.

Re:It's sad this was required... (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232935)

The interpretations, and those interpreting the laws desperately need an overhaul, the document itself is just fine.

My friends a cop... (5, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230369)

Cops love to be dicks. Trust me.

They dont want to be recorded because it would force them to behave.

Re:My friends a cop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230545)

Cops love to be dicks. Trust me.

Then why are you his friend? Even if he's the nice one I would still categorically lump him together and not be his friend. I would brandishly tell him why too.

Re:My friends a cop... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232709)

"You know the score, pal. When you're not a cop, you're little people.

Re:My friends a cop... (2)

jason777 (557591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232693)

My friends a cop too. He's an ok guy but he always had that cop dicktitude about him. Last week he was arrested for taking bribes. I never thought in a million years that he would be a crooked cop. Are there any good cops?

Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (4, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230379)

By virtue of their PUBLIC presence they pretty much surrender any expectation of privacy while they wear the uniform. EVERYTHING they do and say is and should be subject to public scrutiny; if this requires the midstep of recording them for use later, then so be it.

In the UK the Data Protection Act 1998 [legislation.gov.uk] reflects this in section 36, thus:

"Personal data processed by an individual only for the purposes of that individual’s personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes) are exempt from the data protection principles and the provisions of Parts II and III."

This has been used to (successfully) argue that audio recording anywhere outside a situation where Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act 1911 [legislation.gov.uk] comes into play (ie anywhere outside a military installation) for personal purposes, including legal (which falls within the definition in section 36) is *legally* permitted. Police officers walking on a public right of way does not fall into the category of military installation, therefore does not fall into the purview of OSA, therefore in this respect recording (audio or video) of police officers is legal.

Of course, that doesn't prevent them from threatening you with arrest under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 [legislation.gov.uk] (been there), which funnily enough only grants an authority to stop and search for terrorism-related paraphernalia. Which last time I looked, didn't extend to camera equipment.

IAAL.

Re:Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (4, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230419)

For bad police, cameras are terrorism.

Re:Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (3, Interesting)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230519)

you could throw it back - I've done this and the police have backed down: if one gets in your face, right into your personal space, and starts threatening you, make him a promise of making a citizens arrest for armed trespass!

Re:Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (1)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230753)

Needs to be a +1 nads of granite mod!

Re:Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (3, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231475)

That is the stupidest thing that I have ever read. Never threaten violence against a policeman. Ever. That is how morons die. It is also against the law in many states.

Re:Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39232811)

Is a citizen's arrest inherently violent? Seems to me it doesn't have to be, unless the officer wishes to be additionally charged with resisting arrest. :p

Re:Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (2)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230829)

For bad police, cameras are terrorism.

Bad police?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleonasm [wikipedia.org]

Re:Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (2)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230969)

Not every cop is there to harass people and enlarge his dick size. Just most of them.

Re:Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (2)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230569)

Of course cameras are terrorism related - you're obviously planning on filming the execution of your hostages.

Re:Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230741)

"Prayer, Mister Saavik. Klingons don't take prisoners."
  - Kirk

A good post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230439)

there is a good post about Cook County judge Friday http://soccerbarcelona.com [soccerbarcelona.com]

All laws criminalize 'wholly innocent conduct.' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230495)

That's what laws are. If he's differentiating for some moral reason well that hasn't had anything to do with laws in thousands of years.

Re:All laws criminalize 'wholly innocent conduct.' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39230531)

get back under the bridge you sociopathic troll.

Re:All laws criminalize 'wholly innocent conduct.' (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230689)

Actually, GP is bang on.

ANYTHING which requires a licence to be LEGAL
MUST be fundamentally LAWFUL.

Car analogy:

Does not possessing a driving license physically prevent you from driving a motorised vehicle skilfully and safely? Of course not. That is entirely down to training, experience, temperament and habit.
Does possession of a driving license physically protect you in any way shape or form from any sort of incident while behind the wheel? No.
Does possession of a license indemnify you legally in any way? No.
What is the purpose of a driving license? To identify you as the operator of a motorised vehicle and as a permission slip to use the public highways.

Are you children? Must you ask for permission to drive a vehicle? Watch TV? Keep an animal? Operate a radio transmitter?

There are some activities that are inherently hazardous (eg driving, shooting), for which there is not a *legal* requirement but more one of common sense; that you are insured against incidents. I was stopped just once, not for not having a license (I never had a license), or a tax disc (never had one of these either - you can't get 'em for unregistered vehicles), or speeding or running a light, but because I wasn't wearing three point seatbelt (I had a certificate of exemption, but the prick still tried to ticket me for it). The only reason I wasn't run in for the rest of them, I was told, was that I had insurance documents.

Re:All laws criminalize 'wholly innocent conduct.' (1)

oji-sama (1151023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231337)

Does not possessing a driving license physically prevent you from driving a motorised vehicle skilfully and safely? Of course not. That is entirely down to training, experience, temperament and habit.

[...]

What is the purpose of a driving license? To identify you as the operator of a motorised vehicle and as a permission slip to use the public highways.

[...]

There are some activities that are inherently hazardous (eg driving, shooting), for which there is not a *legal* requirement but more one of common sense; that you are insured against incidents.

Yeah well, in my country, the driving license guarantees that the driver has passed the driving test (and so has some basic driving skills, training, experience and habits) and is thus less likely to be a hazardous driver.

Miranda warning (1)

the100rabh (947158) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230631)

What happened to the Miranda warning " Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law." Well thats an evidence aint it ??

Re:Miranda warning (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39230819)

Contrary to what you learned from CSI, Miranda rights are not 'required to be read' to you. Its more of a curtesy for the ignorant. At no point are you actually LEGALLY free to say things and not have them used against you.

You may be able to work out a deal with the cops or the DA or something in order to get something you said ignored, but that has nothing to do with the actual law.

Re:Miranda warning (1)

jargonburn (1950578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231793)

Didn't some judge make a ruling about this, at some point? That because "everyone" has come to the point of expecting Miranda, it was more or less a requirement? I think some guy was released or had his case dropped as a result. No, I'm not going to try and find a citation. Also, maybe it was overturned on appeal?

Re:Miranda warning (3, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231807)

Contrary to what you learned from CSI, Miranda rights are not 'required to be read' to you. Its more of a curtesy for the ignorant. At no point are you actually LEGALLY free to say things and not have them used against you.

It's not a courtesy for the ignorant. It's a requirement. Before the cops conduct a custodial interrogation, they are required to inform you of your rights. If they do not, any information gained from that interrogation, and any information following from it, will likely be excluded.

this really needs a federal law (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231101)

The short of this is that we need a federal law (or supreme court decision) that specifically makes recording of law enforcement officers performing their duties in public places legal. Full stop. No restrictions or loopholes.

The problem we're fighting is there's too much abuse of power and lack of outside accountability within most law enforcement groups. (sorry, an "internal investigation" leaves much doubt as to the impartialness of the findings) Recordings have been used over and over again to change the course of internal investigations that were attempting to (or had already) neatly sweep things under the rug and "failed to find any evidence of misconduct". The need for these recordings has been demonstrated so many times, and I don't recall a single incident of the recordings being challenged for any reason other than an attempt to cover up or retaliate. They have NO reasonable or lawful basis to deny this law. Law has no expectation of privacy while performing their duty in public, that should be obvious to all.

Re:this really needs a federal law (2)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231491)

What is a federal law going to do in state court? Not a damned thing.

Re:this really needs a federal law (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231953)

In general state courts in the United States are bound to apply both state and federal law (as are federal courts). IAAL

Re:this really needs a federal law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39231999)

Huh. You might try telling that to all the various federal lawmakers who are only too happy to overide various state laws.

Re:this really needs a federal law (1)

AbrasiveCat (999190) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232421)

While I agree this would be easiest as a U.S federal law, I think this is out side the bounds of the constitution and needs to handled at each of the 50 states.

Ok, so lets get if off the books (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231113)

A lot of arm waving unfortunately does not accomplish much unless followed up with something to turn the law around. Wake me up when there's something to vote on.

Which Cook County? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39231121)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cook_County [wikipedia.org]
One should not have to RTFA on slashdot to get geographical details.

Re:Which Cook County? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231503)

If you don't know which Cook County contains the Loop, maybe you need to get out more.

Re:Which Cook County? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39232855)

Yeah, reading the articles to get details about the story is such a drag.

Wholly innocent conduct. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231267)

Smoking marijuana is wholly innocent conduct. Can we get that one declared unconstitutional too?

I'm Glad I left the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39231329)

I was born and grew up in the US, but left it two years ago. It is no longer the same country I grew up in. Perhaps it may change someday, but I don't see it changing for the better in my lifetime.

Good. Next up: (2)

dbet (1607261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39231837)

Get rid of resisting arrest. It is only used to arrest people who haven't done anything wrong. It's everyone's duty to resist arrest.

Re:Good. Next up: (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 2 years ago | (#39232813)

Really? Is that what you'd say if you were a police officer just trying to do your job?

"You really need to resist this. I don't care how much damage you do to the car or myself."

Re:Good. Next up: (2)

dbet (1607261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39233045)

That's different. If you attack the officer or his car, that's already a crime, unrelated to whatever you're being arrested for. Resisting arrest is used when people argue with police or when police unlawfully shove you and you don't immediately go down into fetal position. It's also used to punish people who are being beaten by police and fight back. All of these are things you should be allowed to do.

The other problem I have with it is the license it gives cops when you're resisting. Say you're on the ground being cuffed and you aren't cooperating - not letting them pull your arm behind your back. Resisting arrest means a crime is in progress right now and they psychologically justify doing things like tasering you, when you're no danger to anyone.

I guess this is next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39232519)

People videoing anyone they like, because they had "reasonable grounds" for suspecting that who they were videoing were police. As in, "What? I thought that was a police officer doing something naughty with a member of the public. I had no idea it was a husband and wife. Oh well, never mind I thought it was police misconduct."

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