Bridgeport, IL resident Michael Allison faces 75 years in prison for recording police without their consent. Allison has been charged under an old Illinois eavesdropping statute which allows police to record citizens without their consent but doesn’t allow citizens to record police without their consent. This is the first “crime” with which the 42-year-old Michael Allison has ever been charged…and, he could wind up in prison for seventy-five years.
I’ve searched and searched and I can’t find a case where someone has actually been convicted of a crime like this. Remember, Mr. Allison has ONLY been charged. He has not been convicted and it is highly doubtful that he will be.
There HAVE been numerous other cases where U.S. citizens have been charged, yet none of them resulted in a conviction. The biggest problem with a case like this is that ticked-off and/or ignorant police officers are unnecessarily messing with the lives of the citizens they are sworn to protect. Not to mention the fact that they open their departments up to civil litigation when the citizen they’ve detained for a non-crime decides to seek “damages” for the trouble they’ve been put through while fighting these illegitimate charges.
UPDATE: Federal appeals courts are ruling these actions by police to be unconstitutional.
First Circuit Upholds Right To Videotape Arresting Officers