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In a victory for transparency and civilization, the Supreme Court has rejected a law banning the taping of police. The Illinois law set a maximum prison term of 15 years for recording law enforcement officers. This is one of the most important civil liberties issues for our future as citizens. On this - no compromise, ever. 
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26 comments
 
Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!
 
Excellent.  One needs the ability to record public servants in action.  Whether this shows heroic actions or bullying with a badge is largely up to the officer.
 
There are many convictions of police officers on the basis of video evidence. Also I have often seen motovloggers (motorcycle video bloggers) videos where they are stopped for no reason and bullied about turning off their camera, but people are canny and refuse. The response is a veiled threat, sort of 'Well, if you want to play it like that, I'm sure to be able to find something amiss with your bike or documents and prosecute you for being a stubborn ass'. Bastards!
 
This is the second federal circuit to allow taping of police while they perform their duty. Two down, eleven to go!

Sort-of kidding, the others are unlikely to come to a different conclusion now that there is good precedence.
 
We need a national Film a Cop Day.
 
I understand the concern of the "Post 911 World" Yet, they need to do away with banning individuals using cellphones to tape court room.. These liberal judges are way out of hand they allow attorneys to lie and finagle things their way. If these judges knew they were subject to public scrutiny, they would be weary of the crap they pull in court rooms... Im not saying its all judges.. yet, a good percentage of them dont look at the law.. they look at their personal judgment and ethics.
 
Here that Orange County Sheriffs? There's a whole state that allows you to be corrupt. Feel free to migrate.
 
+Eric Horn Because, of course, you have personal experience in many of the nation's courtrooms, where you have personally witnessed these "liberal" judges just ignoring the law and ruling with their "feelings", amiright?
Sunshine, you need to get out more. Too much FOXNews and right-wing radio rots the brain, dontchaknow?
 
The Chicago Tribune appears to hate mobile browsers or something is wrong with the link.
 
+Eric Horn cos it's not as if there isn't a transcript of every word said in a court of law or anything...
jeeze
 
It's not just for the judges.. yet, for all elected officials like prosecutors, sheriffs, mayors who appoint certain officials and so on..What you afraid someone is gonna see the truth??? .Don't be so frickin naive... Have you ever heard a judge say strike that from the record???  What best explains the scenario? A textt transcript typed up by a court appointed transcript or a video? The first way to change or amend the law is to get a court ruling in your favor.. If the judge makes this happen, then there is an argument that it is legal to do it... Ever seen a prosecutor lie in court to win his case? Dont think that judges, attorneys and police aren't in bed with each other..Have you ever seen certain types of evidence mysteriously disappear or appear without notification?  If not, then you might want to live in some small hick town for a while.. and if the local hick towns are doing it.. you know that they are definitely doing it in the cities.. Its just a bigger pool of fish.
 
I don't know about this "liberal" judges stuff, but I've seen judges of many different political stripes let all kinds of nonsense transpire in their courtrooms (or let their own emotions cloud their judgments).  I've seen prosecutors lie through their teeth while the judge quietly allowed it, even encouraged it.

Contempt of court is what judges usually throw at you when they're feeling mean or petty.  I went with my then-wife to see a judge about my wife's dog getting out of the back yard, and I was warned that this judge was especially moody and to be especially polite and not do anything untoward.  A recruiter called my cell phone twice during that court session, because I forgot to shut the phone off.  Luckily, the judge laughed it off; her staffer told me afterward that I was very lucky I didn't spend some time in their little jail.  The judge must have had a good morning, I was told.

So yeah, judges are human beings who can make bad rulings, which is why we have various appellate courts, etc.  And prosecutors are under a lot of pressure to perform, which creates a very strong incentive to fudge facts and collude with police.  And we all know that cops are human beings as well who bring their own personal prejudices and emotional state to the job.  Anything that creates an independent record is a Good Thing for someone who might have to defend themselves.

Allowing more video recording of court proceedings should also be allowed, but many judges are not in favor of that.  The excuses are varied.  As +Eric Horn pointed out, judges often ask for things to be stricken from the record, yet we know that the jury will seldom actually disregard such testimony even though they're instructed to.  The official record is therefore not an ideal repository of all state information, as "playing it back" for a new jury won't necessarily result in the same outcome.  Independent records can at least help evaluate our legal process and see where bias may have crept in, just as video recordings of police interactions provide independent confirmation of (or refutation of) the misconduct of all parties.

Independent video recordings of such interactions don't just protect civilians; they can potentially protect cops from false accusations, too.
 
Yes. The courts are starting to give democracy back to the US. ☺ Unfortunately, there's still a long way to go. ☹ Even more unfortunate is that they had to start. 😞
 
I kinda want a bumper sticker, to be placed on the driver's side (so they see it walking up) that says "Note: Sousveillance in progress."
 
I shouldnt have said liberal.. because it sounds like it is in terms of "Liberal or Conservative".. I should have said liberal with their handling of justice......
 
Robert Poole: I'm not insinuating that these people are not human.. rather I am stating that these people are often elected by common citizens who alot of times dont even know who they are voting for primarily because they are too focused with their everyday lives up at 05:00 in the morning, and home by 6: or 7 at night fix dinner take care of any problems the kids have, take care of any issues to be resolved between you and the spouse.. Then wonder why their community and political arena is so corrupt?.. A lot of times it is someone who goes to the polls to vote for a certain few people and after that they just start checking off names of the current holder of that position..I bet you if you took a census of every city and town and asked them if they remember who they voted for... "NOT WHO DID YOU VOTE FOR"  but do you remember who you voted for?... I bet 70% of folks would tell you No I dont remember... What I am saying is that if these people were to come under public scrutiny before election day.. I bet you 90% of your political corruption would come to a halt. I know for a fact that lawyer bed with prosecutors and police... " I will let your client off if you arrange it that you do a crap job so I can put that guy there in jail.. and so on..." That aint justice... That's justice for sale and dancing in the right circles with the right people" What it says is that if you dont have money then your justice is for sale because you cant afford a lawyer to do you right.
 
Nice resistance to backsliding into fascism.  Next step USA: head towards something resembling democracy.
 
Porcia: You may have law, but you dont have order. So, what good does the law do if it only represents a certain few that can afford it rather than representing everyone?.. It does no good.. its called railroading, justice for sale, fascism call it what you want.. but, it is not democracy and it is not justice..And, it surely isn't what I enlisted into the military to put my life on the line for. When I raised my hand and took my oath, I swore to defend "The People of The United States".... not only the few people who could privately afford it.....
 
Law enforcement works* best when it's applied evenly and fairly, and visibly so.  
* assuming the function of law enforcement is to encourage people not to kill each other and generally be nice.  If you're goal is to just oppress, then inconsistency works pretty well.
 
Porcia: No, I dont read any disrespect into what you said...In actuality, That is exactly what I enlisted to defend.. How could I take offense to it, your response sounds quite simlilar to the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence. Dont get me wrong, I am not trying to point fingers at the whole court system. Like in this case, the courts did the correct thing. Although I am saying we need to take a good look at the way we balance the scales before we pat ourselves on the back. Yet, the point in what I am saying is that if the court rooms have nothing to hide about the way they balance the scales of justice, then there should not be a problem with someone video taping it and coming under public scrutiny. I can understand the high profile cases.. and in those cases, more than likely media is already covering it.. And, I am not talking just about trial cases. Yet, the smaller more common cases..
 
Porcia: Yet, thats what I am saying is that these individuals need to be held accountable.. And, by allowing video recording to go on in the court room by the public, you judges, and public officials will think twice.. This way, if you hold them accountable by public scrutiny, next election that comes up, maybe that judge, prosecutor, or sheriff wont be elected. Your mishap sound eerily similar to what happened to me.. I live on a dead end street. I own the end lot. The county wanted to extend this road out to the highway. Yet, I am not going to sell because it would force me to have a smaller lot, and keep me from building a house on my lot. Plus, we as the neighborhood dont want the constant flow of traffic through here. So, in an attempt to get ahold of my property, the county sent a Seriff to my house along with a local DTF, kicked my doors down, trashed my trailer, and tried condemning my property saying I had a meth lab in my trailer. Now, one problem with the prosecutors theory that was not taken into affect.... The house was sealed, and I was in Iraq... Now, if I did not borrow $10k from a relief fund, and have hazmat testing performed on my trailer, I would have lost my property. If I did not have a JAG lawyer guiding me on the process while overseas, And his connections with other lawyers in my area,  I would have lost my property because I would have never been able to afford testing, and a private lawyer on my own. Now, I am out about $15k because the so called "System" attempted to steal my property. Not to mention items missing from my home.
 
General topic was predicted and explored in detail in my nonfiction book: The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?  Won the freedom of speech award. 
 
David: That's an awesome topic... I being Signal with the military, and a Computer Technician in the civilian world truly understand the bound of security vs freedom when paralleled with technology. I totally agree that limits need to be put in place when it comes to the claims of electronic security, surveillance and Freedom.. Is it Security, or is it Entrapment and Theft of ones rights?
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