Tri States Public Radio Staff
Tue October 4, 2011
Shop Talk - October 4
Macomb, IL – The panelists discuss an Illinois judge's ruling that the state's eavesdropping law is unconstitutional as applied to a particular case.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Michael Allison was accused of violating a city ordinance by fixing old cars on his front lawn. He faced up to 75 years in prison for recording conversations with police officers who he claimed were harassing him.
The judge who ruled against the eavesdropping law said, "Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather such information."
Supporters of the eavesdropping law believe people are entitled to privacy. Opponents say public employees should not expect privacy when performing their duties in public places.
The Shop Talk panelists point out the recording of the Rodney King beating would have been illegal if it was done in Illinois. They believe citizens should not have to obtain consent from an officer or other public employee before recording his/her actions in public.