Tri States Public Radio Staff
Shop Talk – December 4
Tue December 4, 2012
Recording Police in Public
The panelists discuss a US Supreme Court ruling on whether people can record Illinois police officers performing their duties in public.
The AP reports the high court went along with a lower court ruling that found the state’s anti-eavesdropping law violates free speech rights when used against people who make audio recordings of law enforcement officers.
The legal battle began when Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez tried to prosecute American Civil Liberties Union staff members who recorded police officers on the job. The ACLU considered the recording of police to be a monitoring mission designed to guard against abuses.
The Shop Talk panelists believe the US Supreme Court made the correct decision. They point out the public pays the salaries and benefits of police officers and should have the right to know through recordings about the quality of the work being done on their behalf.
The panelists also point out recordings could protect officers against false allegations.