Recording public officials in Chicago, especially polices officers, is a crime that the city doesn’t take lightly. One of 12 states that has a “two-party” consent law, public recordings of the CPD is a Class 1 felony, possibly leveraging prison sentences between 4 and 15-years in the state pen and fines up to $25,000.
Other crimes that carry this sentence? Criminal sexual assault, possession of heroine/cocaine/LSD, and kidnapping.
Currently, an artist and a woman are facing charges for recording CPD officers with out consent under the Illinois eavesdropping law. Moore used her Blackberry to record two police investigators while filing a sexual harassment complaint against a police officer, and Drew used a digital recorder to record his arrest while allegedly selling art without a permit.
Police officers in Illinois can record citizens in both public and private settings, but there’s no “turn about is fair play” clause.
Illinois is serious about the surveillance law since both Drew and Moore have scheduled court dates, and citizens in the state can be hit with charges for recording other state officials, like the state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney, attorney general, assistant attorney general or judge in the performance of his or her duties.
Recording (audio) a citizen without consent is a Class 4 felony, which can carry a three year sentence for a first-timer or a 5-year for a second or third offense.
ACLU lawyers filed suit against the state following charges brought against residents citing that the Illinois law violates the First Amendment. The Chicago Police Department, and Fraternal Order of Police stand behind the law, claiming that eavesdroppers may hinder police from performing their jobs.