In this smartphone era, it’s “Candid Camera” all over the place. But it’s against the law in Illinois to surreptitiously record a police officer doing his or her job in public. A bill which passed an Illinois House committee Wednesday would change that.
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“Citizens are being charged under the current law for doing nothing more than what thousands of citizens do every day in Illinois: pull out our cell phone, open up the camera, and start recording,” says the sponsor, State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook). “With the G-8 and NATO summits coming to Chicago in May, thousands of journalists and attendees are at great risk of prosecution.” Police groups are against the idea, saying it will compromise officers’ duties and inhibit potential witnesses. Another worry: that a police officer will shoot someone after mistaking the other person’s cell phone for a gun. H.B. 3944 has passed the House Judiciary I (Civil Law) Committee.