WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Lawmakers Review Eavesdropping Bill

Feb 9, 2012

A proposal that would allow people to make recordings of police passed out of an Illinois House committee.

Under current law it's legal to make a video of police. But if the recording captures sound, it's a felony that can land someone in jail for years.

Legislators approved the measure (HB 3944) despite objections from law enforcement.

Dan Nelson of the Illinois State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police said police could have a harder time investigating crimes, especially in neighborhoods where people are reluctant to talk to police.

"We think it's going to hinder law enforcement. Possibly put people in harm's way when it comes to being witnesses. Or possibly, in [the] worst case scenario, re-victimizing the victims," Nelson said.

Supporters of the legislation are trying to win approval before the G-8 and NATO summits in Chicago this May. The events are expected to draw thousands of protesters. 

Video recordings of last year's Occupy protests in places such as New York and California drew attention to police misconduct.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio