Film a Cop…Go to Prison

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on January 30th, 2013

Most people don't realize that in most states it's a serious crime to take a picture or film a police officer.  Recording a cop with your cell phone while he's busily beating a helpless citizen, for example, means you go to jail — not the cop!

So….Which offense do you think carries the greatest penalty — rape or recording a cop?

Wrong.  In Illinois, for example, they carry the same sentence: 15 years in prison.   That’s right: using your cell phone to record cops committing crimes can land you in prison for 15 years (although it’s perfectly legal for the cop to record you).

An eye-opening news video entitled "Valley Man Faces 75 Years in Prison for Recording Law Enforcement" documented the plight of Illinois citizen Michael Allison.  Allison was facing 75 years in prison for five counts of openly audio taping public officials – a sentence usually reserved for murderers.  When he sued police for discriminatory law enforcement, the judge at trial refused to provide a court reporter.  Understandably wanting a record of the proceedings, including the cops’ testimony, Allison told the judge he would record them himself.  He was later arrested and the recording confiscated. 

These laws are not limited to Illinois.  Designed to protect cops and public officials from public scrutiny, they exist in many states across the country.  And one has to question why they exist at all in a supposedly free and open society — much less carrying sentences usually reserved for murderers and rapists.  Are cops and officials that afraid of having their conduct exposed to the light?

I wonder if taping a cop in China, Russia or North Korea is punished as severely as in Illinois – if at all?

  • DUI – The Constitution Need Not Apply

    Legislators make lawful acts illegal (for citizens only).  Police, not wanting to be filmed in public, arrest those filming them for baseless "obstructing" or "failure to comply" charges.  Prosecutors decline to bring charges against vicious and sadistic cops who commit murder, yet throw the whole book at a concerned citizen witnessing and filming a crime in public.  Judges are willing to violate individual's rights, their own standards of conduct and oaths, and promote corruption and injustice.  Ignorant and authoritarian juries are servile enough to actually convict decent people of these non-crimes.
    I cannot believe these tyrants think they are promoting public confidence in our institutions.  I have to believe the just don't give a damn.
    At some point, all of the agents of the state must become aware that they are co-conspirators.  They must recognize, at least in fleeting moments of lucidity, that they are criminals.  The public must also recognize that they are no longer men and women with unalienable rights, to be respected and protected, and to be served by the government that gains its' authority only from their consent.  We are here to shut the #@%$ up.  Comply.  Submit.
    I am in my 40s and I can remember life before America was a police state.  My children will not have those memories.  All their lives they will have only known that ultimate power comes from the barrel of a government gun and there is no justice to be found in a courtroom.  Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.
    "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face — forever."  -George Orwell
     Public officials and bureacrats of all stripes now believe secrecy is an essential government function on all levels.  There are no more "public servants".  The police no longer "protect and serve".  Any remnants of a true sentiment of service are simply a thin veneer, a charade, tolerated only as a means to deceive the people.