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Occupy Chicago Alleges Police Deleted Video Footage Of Sunday March

By aaroncynic in News on Jan 31, 2012 8:20PM

Members of Occupy Chicago took to the streets of the loop Sunday to show solidarity for members of Occupy Oakland, who once again clashed with police over the weekend in an attempt to occupy an abandoned building. Occupy Chicago member Keilah Becker, who was live-streaming the march, got into an altercation with a Chicago Police officer. Via press release, Becker said as she was recording the events taking place, an officer pushed her and “began yelling extremely sexist and verbally abusive comments at me…I was streaming all of this.”

Becker later said a female officer took her cell phone, turned it off and deleted the footage of the altercation, informing her that recording police officers is a class 4 felony.

Earlier this year, we reported that several challenges to eavesdropping laws in Illinois are making their way through the courts. Yesterday, WBEZ reported that State Rep. Elaine Nekritz is sponsoring an amendment which would legalize recording police. The proposed amendment would also make it legal to record companies that record their customer service calls.

Nekritz’s proposed amendment has a particularly odd supporter in Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, given his tough talk over the throngs of demonstrators coming to Chicago for the NATO/G8 rallies in May. Sharing a podium at a press conference with an attorney from the ACLU, CBS Chicago reports McCarthy called the law “problematic,” saying “I actually am a person who endorses video and audio recording. There’s no arguments when you can look at a videotape and see what happened.”

Whether or not this will affect the protests at the coming NATO/G8 summits however, is in question. WBEZ reports Nekritz said that if her amendment becomes law, it may not go into effect after they conclude.