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Illinois House Passes Eavesdropping Law Amendment

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 24, 2012 1:30PM

Photo Credit: .Alek.

The Illinois House on Tuesday passed a bill that would amend HB 3944, the State's controversial eavesdropping law to allow people to make audio recordings of police in public spaces. The bill passed by a 71-45 vote and now goes to the State Senate for debate.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, who sponsored the bill, wants the eavesdropping law changed so that police no longer have to give consent for recording. A previous version of the bill was voted down in March. Nekritz amended this one to make it clear that people who doctor recordings may be prosecuted.

The eavesdropping law has been ruled unconstitutional In both state and federal courts. Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has gone on record in support of letting people record police and the city did not enforce the law during the NATO summit. State Rep. Dena Carli (D-Chicago), who voted against the legislation, said allowing people to record audio of police posed "a danger to the officer" because the person doing the recording would have to move closer, whereas recording video of police meant a person could keep his distance.

Carli is also a Chicago police officer.