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Does Illinois prohibit the video recording of a police encounter?


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#1 vito

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 12:58 PM

I know of a number of people who have a dash cam and routinely are recording whatever is in front of their vehicle, so that should an accident occur they have video documentation. If a vehicle so equipped is stopped by a law enforcement officer for a traffic violation or other purpose, can the encounter be legally recorded or must the driver turn off the camera during the police encounter? I recall reading that Illinois prohibits the audio recording of conversations with the police, but have not read anything about video recording. Especially if one is legally carrying a concealed firearm, and has an improper reaction by the officer when informing him or her about the concealed gun, it might be quite helpful to have a video recording of the entire event, but obviously that is not a good idea if such recording is illegal. 


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#2 Craigcelia

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 01:09 PM

No it is not prohibited. Anyone can film police in public. Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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#3 soundguy

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 01:35 PM

From a 2014 Tribune article when the new law was signed:

 

That means, for example, that it would be illegal for one worker to secretly record a colleague complaining about a boss over the phone. It would be legal, however, to record that conversation if it were taking place loudly on the street.

 

It also would be legal to record police officers and other government officials talking to the public as part of their duties. Illinois' previous eavesdropping law was among the strictest in the nation, making it illegal to record anybody, even in public, without their permission.

 


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#4 once0217

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 04:38 PM

From a 2014 Tribune article when the new law was signed:

 

That means, for example, that it would be illegal for one worker to secretly record a colleague complaining about a boss over the phone. It would be legal, however, to record that conversation if it were taking place loudly on the street.
 
It also would be legal to record police officers and other government officials talking to the public as part of their duties. Illinois' previous eavesdropping law was among the strictest in the nation, making it illegal to record anybody, even in public, without their permission.

That law was overturned. It is fully legal in Illinois to record police while they are on duty.

#5 Buzzard

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 07:57 PM

How is a device that is recording forward going to record what is happening to the rear of the car or at the driver's window?



#6 DomG

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 10:25 PM

From a 2014 Tribune article when the new law was signed:
 


That means, for example, that it would be illegal for one worker to secretly record a colleague complaining about a boss over the phone. It would be legal, however, to record that conversation if it were taking place loudly on the street.
 
It also would be legal to record police officers and other government officials talking to the public as part of their duties. Illinois' previous eavesdropping law was among the strictest in the nation, making it illegal to record anybody, even in public, without their permission.


That law was overturned. It is fully legal in Illinois to record police while they are on duty.

How is a device that is recording forward going to record what is happening to the rear of the car or at the driver's window?


They can rotate. Done manually by the driver.
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#7 Neumann

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:53 AM

How is a device that is recording forward going to record what is happening to the rear of the car or at the driver's window?

I have a dash cam that records both front and back, using a remote camera on the rear window. Some devices mount on the windshield with cameras facing forward and backward, but that doesn't give a very good view of the rear. I also have a portable device, which I take on vacation for use in rental cars.

 

Besides documenting police encounters (which should be extremely rare for members of this forum), it eliminates the "he-said, she-said" issue with encounters of the physical kind. In an accident, you could inform the officer that the incident was recorded. I suspect that honesty by all parties will prevail thereafter. 

 

Another alternative is to use your cell phone in video mode, in a breast pocket, to record where you are facing. Besides being timely, cell phone recordings are automatically uploaded to the Cloud, where they cannot be viewed, erased or confiscated without your permission.



#8 soylentgreen

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 11:17 AM

I believe it is illegal to record anyone surreptitiously in Illinois (either audio, video, or both). If you're using a camera that's in plain sight and it's obvious you're using it to record, I believe you're legal. If you're using a hidden camera or microphone and have not informed all parties that they're being recorded, you could be in trouble.

If you want to record an interaction with the police, such as a traffic stop, I think it's best to inform the officer that you're recording. I'd be polite about it if you decide to do that.



#9 matkinson

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 12:11 PM

Someone who says they're a lawyer (which I'm really sure I am not) wrote this about it: http://www.barneyhou...-smart-about-it.  Basically, soylentgreen is right.  



#10 skinnyb82

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:57 AM

During a traffic stop? No. Not based on current case law. The Illinois Supreme Court addressed this in People v. Beardsley, 115 Ill.2d 47, 104 Ill.Dec. 789, 503 N.E.2d 346 (1986). Defendant was charged with eavesdropping after recording the office during a traffic stop. "The primary factor in determining whether the defendant in this case committed the offense of eavesdropping is not, as the appellate court reasoned, whether all of the parties consented to the recording of the conversation. Rather, it is whether the officers/declarants intended their conversation to be of a private nature under circumstances justifying such expectation.... The officers also indicated that they did not know that the defendant was taping their conversation. However, it seems logical that if the officers intended their conversation to be entirely private, then they would have left the squad car instead of carrying on their conversation in the defendant's presence. Thus, under the circumstances, the officers cannot be heard to allege that they intended their conversation to be private." Defendant was actually sitting in the back seat of the squad and recording two officers while they waited for a tow truck after he was arrested for DUI. So if that's legally permissible, to record cops inside of their own squads, then recording a cop who's at your window is also legally permissible. Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
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#11 spaceman spiff

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:04 AM

I got pulled over a couple months ago while driving my work vehicle that has not 1 but 3 cameras on it, 1 front, 1 inside, 1 out the back. Cop didn't seem to care.


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#12 skinnyb82

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 12:12 PM

They shouldn't care as long as they're not up to something no good. If it's a simple traffic stop then there's no need to make a big stink. It actually protects them as well as you since, if they follow the law and legal precedent, then you've just recorded a by the book interaction with police and they can say "Hey, just check the defendant's own video of the traffic stop." It they don't follow the law and constitutional framework, then you'll have a fantastic case for at least disciplinary action and possibly a civil suit depending on how far they go. There was a case here where there was a fight at a gas station, people whipped out their phones and recorded everything including when the police showed up. So the cops then go and seize everyone's phones and destroy the video. The defendant is convicted of...aggravated battery, I believe, while her lawyer is howling about the police destroying evidence that could've exonerated his client. Appeal follows and the conviction is straight vacated due to the actions of the police and the appellate court attached jeopardy to it so she cannot be tried again due to the police actions screwing her entire defense. Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
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#13 BradS

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 02:53 PM

During a traffic stop? No. Not based on current case law. The Illinois Supreme Court addressed this in People v. Beardsley, 115 Ill.2d 47, 104 Ill.Dec. 789, 503 N.E.2d 346 (1986). Defendant was charged with eavesdropping after recording the office during a traffic stop.

"The primary factor in determining whether the defendant in this case committed the offense of eavesdropping is not, as the appellate court reasoned, whether all of the parties consented to the recording of the conversation. Rather, it is whether the officers/declarants intended their conversation to be of a private nature under circumstances justifying such expectation.... The officers also indicated that they did not know that the defendant was taping their conversation. However, it seems logical that if the officers intended their conversation to be entirely private, then they would have left the squad car instead of carrying on their conversation in the defendant's presence. Thus, under the circumstances, the officers cannot be heard to allege that they intended their conversation to be private."

Defendant was actually sitting in the back seat of the squad and recording two officers while they waited for a tow truck after he was arrested for DUI. So if that's legally permissible, to record cops inside of their own squads, then recording a cop who's at your window is also legally permissible.

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That case was from 1986?

Technology has grown by leaps and bounds since then.

https://law.justia.c...86/63079-7.html
my target stands classified thread:

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#14 skinnyb82

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:10 PM

People v. Clark from 2014, where a guy recorded two judges and a lawyer without their knowledge...in a courtroom. His eavesdropping indictment was dumped by the Illinois Supreme Court. I found that one while searching for ones involving traffic stops, followed the citations and found Beardsley. Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
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#15 bigdudez25

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:47 PM

How is a device that is recording forward going to record what is happening to the rear of the car or at the driver's window?

I have a dash cam that records both front and back, using a remote camera on the rear window. Some devices mount on the windshield with cameras facing forward and backward, but that doesn't give a very good view of the rear. I also have a portable device, which I take on vacation for use in rental cars.
 
Besides documenting police encounters (which should be extremely rare for members of this forum), it eliminates the "he-said, she-said" issue with encounters of the physical kind. In an accident, you could inform the officer that the incident was recorded. I suspect that honesty by all parties will prevail thereafter. 
 
Another alternative is to use your cell phone in video mode, in a breast pocket, to record where you are facing. Besides being timely, cell phone recordings are automatically uploaded to the Cloud, where they cannot be viewed, erased or confiscated without your permission.

Why should it be extremely rare? Do you mean police contact in general?

#16 axs_sense

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:51 PM

Speaking of in dash cameras, any recommendations on type (i.e. brand)?



#17 Cerus

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:19 PM

I believe it is illegal to record anyone surreptitiously in Illinois (either audio, video, or both). If you're using a camera that's in plain sight and it's obvious you're using it to record, I believe you're legal. If you're using a hidden camera or microphone and have not informed all parties that they're being recorded, you could be in trouble.
If you want to record an interaction with the police, such as a traffic stop, I think it's best to inform the officer that you're recording. I'd be polite about it if you decide to do that.


I believe that only applies to private conversations you are not a party to. A traffic stop in public has no expectation of privacy. Informing them should not be required.

Another alternative is to use your cell phone in video mode, in a breast pocket, to record where you are facing. Besides being timely, cell phone recordings are automatically uploaded to the Cloud, where they cannot be viewed, erased or confiscated without your permission.

  


That is not a default thing on most cell phones. You’ll need to turn on library uploads (or whatever system the device uses) or use an app to record and auto upload. There are tons of these out there.

iOS has iCloud Photo Library but it’s not instant nor something I’d rely on if that was my concern.

#18 chislinger

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:17 PM

Speaking of in dash cameras, any recommendations on type (i.e. brand)?

I have 2 of these, one in front and one in back: https://www.amazon.c...1_t1_B01HVWNFF6

This one doesn't swivel though.
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#19 skinnyb82

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:51 AM

I looked for one that has wireless capability so it uploads to a cloud account while recording. Couldn't find one that I liked. Can have a dash cam to record police encounters, but that does no good when they seize the SD card or entire camera because "it's the law" (been told this by several cops, they would arrest me for filming a traffic stop). I'd rather have that safety valve where it's not recorded on only one device but stored off-site. There's a video of a Uber driver and public defender in North Carolina being stopped for driving some guy to pick up meth or heroin (he didn't know), whole time he's got his cell phone out and recording the stop. Sergeant comes up to his window, starts screaming at him to stop recording because a "new law" made it illegal to record police while they're performing their official duties. He shut them down, offered the cop his bar card and the cop walked away and never said a word about it again. Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
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#20 firepiper

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:05 PM

https://www.google.c...-story,amp.html Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

#21 skinnyb82

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:07 AM

https://www.google.c...-story,amp.html


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That injunction only applies to the ACLU and agents of the ACLU. But one could argue a 14th Amendment, equal protection issue exists because technically only the ACLU and agents of it are "permitted" to film cops. But People v. Beardsley says that recording a cop at a traffic stop is within one's First Amendment rights.

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#22 matkinson

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:12 PM

I understand that a state statute was passed overturning the previous law prohibiting taping law enforcement officers.  As I've mentioned before, though, I'm not a lawyer.



#23 skinnyb82

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 09:06 AM

Yes it exempted public contact with LEOs but made it so ambiguous that they could still charge under the revised statute. It might not hold up in a probable cause hearing, probably won't, and definitely won't withstand a dose of constitutional scrutiny, but they can give it a shot. I'm sure all LEAs statewide have issued new policies, guidance and training as to how to deal with a motorist (or bystander) filming the encounter when there is no reasonable expectation of privacy (such as on the side of the road). So as to not get themselves sued for failure to train when one of their officers goes and makes an eavesdropping arrest for something that's protected. Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
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#24 SleepingBirdDog

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 11:30 AM

Yes it exempted public contact with LEOs but made it so ambiguous that they could still charge under the revised statute. It might not hold up in a probable cause hearing, probably won't, and definitely won't withstand a dose of constitutional scrutiny, but they can give it a shot. I'm sure all LEAs statewide have issued new policies, guidance and training as to how to deal with a motorist (or bystander) filming the encounter when there is no reasonable expectation of privacy (such as on the side of the road). So as to not get themselves sued for failure to train when one of their officers goes and makes an eavesdropping arrest for something that's protected. Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk

I wonder what the disposition of this case is:

 

https://patch.com/il...arrested-cops-0


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#25 Bitter Clinger

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 04:21 PM

 

Yes it exempted public contact with LEOs but made it so ambiguous that they could still charge under the revised statute. It might not hold up in a probable cause hearing, probably won't, and definitely won't withstand a dose of constitutional scrutiny, but they can give it a shot. I'm sure all LEAs statewide have issued new policies, guidance and training as to how to deal with a motorist (or bystander) filming the encounter when there is no reasonable expectation of privacy (such as on the side of the road). So as to not get themselves sued for failure to train when one of their officers goes and makes an eavesdropping arrest for something that's protected. Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk

I wonder what the disposition of this case is:

 

https://patch.com/il...arrested-cops-0

 

 

Hmm.  Guy was in his own house recording and even informed the cops he was recording, yet they arrested him and charged him for "felony eavesdropping".

Sounds like he's got an open and shut case against the cops.

 

Did you see the comment by the guy?  Sounds like some pretty crooked thug cops if what he says is true.

 

 

Hi, I am Dan Murphy (the guy arrested for felony eavesdropping in my own home) Just an FYI it was later discovered that recording police or anyone for that matter within your own home is not a law. I was actually the one that called the police to my home due to domestic violence. Knowing that the police were coming, I turned on the recording app on my phone. Once I informed the officers that I was recording them; badge number 141 of the NLPD grabbed me and started choking me. I will post pictures later. His partner that was in the room said "he did that because I hit the officer." Needless to say, I never laid a finger on the man. I was put in handcuffs and then let go because I had not broken the law. Approximately 20 minutes later the police returned. I was in bed watching a movie. They arrested me for a second time. This time I was charged with filing a false police report and aggravated assault on a police officer. I spent two nights in Will County, had to sleep on a concrete floor, and nearly lost my job. I will spend every dime I have to make sure that these officers are brought to justice.....


Edited by Bitter Clinger, 02 December 2017 - 04:23 PM.


#26 soundguy

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 06:07 PM

I sure hope "brought to justice" means they will never be cops anywhere ever again.


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#27 skinnyb82

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 12:31 PM

In his home, the police could make a good argument for reasonable expectation of privacy since they're not in public. Then again, they were in HIS home, so he has an excellent argument for REP as well. That'd be a fun case to litigate. Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
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