Illinois Anti-Eavesdropping Law Faces Uncertain Future - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois Anti-Eavesdropping Law Faces Uncertain Future


Only a few days ago, eavesdropping on an officer in Illinois could mean a 15 year prison sentence. But there's been a change and the future of that law is now uncertain.

The Supreme Court sided with a lower court's decision that it is unconstitutional to ban people from recording police officers.

In May of 2011, Galesburg Police arrested several people for digitally recording officers as they busted an underage drinking party.

"At the time, when we made those arrests, we were within the law, according to the Illinois law on the eavesdropping," said Capt. Rod Riggs, Galesburg Police.

The law makes it a felony for anyone to make an audio recording of a conversation unless all parties agree to being recorded. But now that the Supreme Court has decided there are parts of that law that are unconstitutional, it would be hard for Galesburg Police, or any other enforcement agency in Illinois, to make an arrest like that ever again.

Police may have to get more comfortable being in front of the camera.

"It's just something we need to be aware of," said Riggs. "It's part of life, part of our jobs now. We're going to be watched."

The Galesburg Police Captain also said the Galesburg Police Department has nothing to hide. If officers are conducting themselves professionally, being recorded shouldn't become an issue.

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