Legalize It: Chi-Town Eavesdropping Act Ruled Unconstitutional

A Victory for Copwatch

In a 12-page decision, Criminal Courts Judge Stanley Sacks ruled that the law [which essential made the videotaping of police (Copwatching) illegal] is too broad and potentially criminalizes ‘wholly innocent conduct.’ He cited as an example a parent recording her child’s soccer game and inadvertently capturing a conversation between two bystanders. ‘Although it is extremely unlikely that this doting parent would be charged with a felony offense, the fact remains that she could, thusly punishing innocent conduct,’ Sacks wrote.”

This ruling comes just weeks before thousands are expected to descend into Chi-town to protest the G8 & NATO meetings in May. Such a large mobilization of protesters (like those expected in Chicago), is routinely met by even larger occupying po-lice forces, shipped in from pig units around the country, armed with new, hi-tech gear, and itching to use it.

It is no surprise then that these large mobilizations and mass protests are often (if not always) met with rampant police misconduct, abuse, harassment, and violence. Therefore, it is almost essential that these persons are able to demonstrate their own rights – like the right of freedom of speech cited by Judge Stanley Sacks – in videotaping this rampant police misconduct and abuse, to at the very least document these atrocities without being further accosted by the pigs.

Although there is still little clarity on the Eavesdropping Law, as there are a multitude of cases, appeals, and further amendments to the current law still being examined.

Originally, the Illinois Eavesdropping Act made it a felony to record police interactions, carrying a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. Several cases since then have played out, and are continuing to play out in court, of which the decisions could have an enormous impact on the Eavesdropping Act. West Denver Copwatch has attempted to continually update our readers on those cases, but here’s an overview in case you missed it:

  • In August, a woman was acquitted of eavesdropping charges, after she testified that she only recorded the pigs because they were trying to ‘convince’ her not to file sexual harassment charges.
  • In September, Crawford County deemed the law unconstitutional, in a case in which a man was accused of recording a police interaction without permission. This case is being appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.
  • Finally, we are still waiting for a ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, arguing that the law violates First Amendment rights.

Furthermore, Representative Elaine Nekritz (D) is attempting to pass a bill that would make it legal to video tape pigs in public and on duty.

Even dumb-fucking Supt. Garry McCarthy says he doesn’t object to the law, because he encourages persons to film his little piglets, especially at summits like the G8/NATO, as it shows how the dumb-fuck piggies really treat the protesters! Hahahaha, ya that’s a great idea – have you not heard of the payouts pigs hand to protesters for abuse? Want to pay us millions and encourage copwatching, fine by me! Oh ya and go ahead and take a look at Miami – FTAA Settlement.

Of course the Fraternal Order of Pigs (KKK) is against repealing the act as it “would have a chilling effect on witnesses’ coming forward to aid police and could create situations in which victims of crime are re-victimized by viral videos of their suffering.”

Please mother fuckers, you’re rarely there to stop a crime, and people aren’t video taping a ‘crime’, they’re video taping you mother fuckers. You’re the ones with cameras EVERYWHERE (<- Click here to view a map of all pig cameras in Chi-Town [for those of you going a little later this month!]) to catch these victims, and then you give it to the evening news. You stupid mother fuckers, what a dumb excuse, just admit you wanna beat people without reprisal, without a video camera taping your constant abuse and harassment; and what’s a better platform to harass, abuse, and beat folk than the G8/NATO Summits. TRY IT MOTHER FUCKERS – SEE YOU IN CHICAGO…


Chicago Tribune


DPD Lies for $, Politics as Usual

DISCLAIMER: Let’s get one thing straight right away – West Denver Copwatch in NO WAY backs ANY politician EVER, especially Renfroe’s racist, teabagging, fucking bigot – just keep that in mind. Now, on to the article!

Over a month ago, State Senator Scott Renfroe – representing most of Weld County, including Greeley and Evans – introduced Senate Bill 50 to the Colorado legislature. Senate Bill 50 was designed to ban ALL ‘red-light cameras at intersections, as well as the use of photos for issuing tickets’ (Westword). Basically, if you’ve ever seen a bright, distracting flash while driving down the road, then got a ticket with a picture of you flipping off a camera in the mail a month later, it was from one of these red-light cameras/photo ticketing systems.

Renfroe argued that these camera-ticketing systems were “more about generating revenue than enhancing safety”; while on the other hand, doubters (mostly pigs and politicians wanting more money for gear to “beat the crowds” and line their pockets respectively [irrespectively]) argued that these ticket-generating systems were strictly for safety reasons: specifically stating that they brought down the number of accidents at red lights (Westword). Renfroe insisted however that there were other, more efficient ways to prevent red-light accidents, tactics that were actually study-driven; he sited one study from Texas in which “accidents at given intersections were halved simply by keeping the yellow light on for one second longer” (Westword).

Unfortunately, but not shockingly, “numerous law-enforcement representatives testified against Renfroe’s bill”; Renfroe himself stated that he thought “the committee liked what the police officers had to say about the cameras — and they didn’t really listen to the other studies or to the citizens” – which is an everyday reality for persons who are NOT State Senators; in fact pigs usually get the benefit of the doubt in all systems of government, most visibly the courts (Westword). 

Refroe also stated that he had concerns about ‘Big-Brother’, and their eyes in the sky: “Obviously, there are concerns about Big Brother and government. There’s the question of ‘Are we going too far with this and encroaching on people’s privacy and the right to address your accuser?’ It’s kind of crazy when you look at the system and what we have in place: They send you a ticket in the mail and people pay it without questioning it when you don’t really have to pay it. If it doesn’t go on your record and doesn’t go on your insurance — if it doesn’t do any of these things — then why are we collecting money on it?” (Westword) Although you don’t see Renfroe trying to tear down the HALO Cameras, or fighting against any other of the numerous examples of ‘Big-Brother’ invading OUR privacy.

For the last few months, local Colorado media outlets have been hyping this story, particularly the notion that these red-light cameras prevent accidents, and aren’t just designed to make quick money for the state/pork-lice. In fact one video in particular from Fox 31, interviewed Detective Pig John White explicitly repeats that these cameras are ‘for our safety’, while repeatedly replaying horrific accidents from persons running red lights, even though these cameras didn’t prevent these accidents from happening (see 9 News Video HERE). Cameras clearly aren’t preventative, as they only take pictures after someone has run the red light, and do only that – take pictures – not physically preventing an accident. As for the argument that persons will stop when they see the camera, I would say that if someone doesn’t stop when they see the red light that’s right below the camera and 50 times larger, they probably won’t see/care about the camera.

Now, the day after the bill was rejected, after a near, Colorado media-frenzy, arguing the fact that these cameras were not just to generate revenue, they were ‘for your protection’, 9 News is reporting that they were given a false statistic by the DPD, directly related to the amount of revenue the cameras generated (9 News). In fact, in the midst of a political battle over the actual basis for these red-light cameras, with the DPD explicitly claiming that they are NOT to simply generate revenue; they were at the same time, lying to the media about just how much money the red-light camera system was making! This was not a simple accounting error, or a few dollars here-and-there that went unaccounted-for, they mis-led the public and politicians who might have seen this constant media attention, by around $1 million (9 News). In a recent statement given by Pig spokesman Sonny Jackson, he stated that instead of giving the media the full, yearly revenue figure of $1.2 million, the dumb fucking pig gave them about one month’s worth at about $279,000; 9 News is also reporting that according to their research later (which led to them questioning these wrong figures), these red-light cameras generate about $2 million per year in total revenue (9 News).

Jackson: “Truly, I have no intention to mislead Channel 9 or the public and I think that’s where we really have been concerned, because we want the public to have the clearest picture of what revenue is being generated, how the program is working because the program is going to exist for a while. We need to be as transparent as we can about how it exists.”

BULLSHIT – they fucking gave the wrong numbers to they could back a bullshit argument, or more importantly, deflate the argument against them. Once again they’re just straight lying to the public, and when they get caught they want to turn around and say that they want to be ‘more transparent’, and instill faith and trust in the public. FUCK YOU DPD, YOU PIECE OF SHIT LIARS! A program to ensure  ‘our safety’ and not make money, but earns $2 million per year for the fucking police department?! That’s doubly against OUR safety… I call bullshit DPD – FUCK YOU!


Westword Article:

9 News

Chicago ‘Eavesdropping’ Act Under Scrutiny

Many of you probably already know the story behind the criminalization of Copwatch, but recently one state’s ban on Copwatching is finally being challenged.

The ‘Illinois Eavesdropping Act’ specifically prohibits the “recording of a peace officer who is performing a public duty in a public place and speaking at a volume audible to the unassisted human ear”, basically making it impossible for Copwatchers to do their job in the Chicago area (Huffington Post). The punishment for filming a public official, on duty, in public; is a Class 1 felony charge that can result in a substantial fine and up to 15 years in prison. In one instance, a young woman Tiawanda Moore, after being sexually harassed by Chicago pigs, attempted to video tape these dirt-bag pigs to protect herself, and ensure that if her rights were being violated she would at least have some documentation; was then threatened with felony charges and jail time (Huffington Post). In another instance, Occupy Chicago participants attempting to film a livestream of a local Occupy protest, were again, threatened with arrest (Chicagoist). In yet another case, “Chicago artist Christ Drew recorded his arrest for selling art in the Loop and was also charged with eavesdropping”; Drew filed suit with the ACLU in 2010.

Recently this egregious ban on Copwatching has been under scrutiny, as protests against the G8 and NATO are set to kick off May 19-21 in Chicago, which could result in the arrest of thousands of persons attempting to keep the pigs in line. This week amendments were approved 9-2 by the House committee, “sending it to the House floor for further action” (Chi CBS Local). One public defender speaking out against in defense of clients being prosecuted for allegedly filming the po-lice, stated that, “’It is patently unfair to arrest American citizens for filming their government doing government work in a public place’ and that police would ‘be arresting people for filming the police arresting people’” (Chicagoist).

Even the dumb-fucking pig superintendent Garry McCarthy backs the amendment, albeit for the ridiculously inexplicable reason “that they [footage of pigs] can protect police by providing evidence of officers doing their jobs correctly in the case of police brutality accusations”, according to the Huffington Post. Of course this argument is completely dismantled not only by the constant acts of brutality committed by ALL pigs, and consistent abuse of rights at any major (or minor) protest; let alone the fact that most other Illinois pigs are speaking out against the amendments, realizing that their wet dreams of a May filled with ‘getting up early to beat the crowds’ are going to be crushed by ordinary citizens demanding accountability. When presented with the argument that having the ability to film the police might ‘level the playing field’ between pigs and protesters, Deputy Chief of Narcotics Patrick Coughlin (of course) disagreed, arguing that the amendment would give ‘more rights to private citizens to collect evidence of a crime than officers have’, or how about just not blocking the rights private citizens already have, plus this statement doesn’t even make sense (Huffington Post).

This bill is completely ridiculous, pigs have the right to film persons walking down the street and protesters to build databases of ordinary citizens standing-up for their rights; but ordinary citizens don’t have the ability to film public officers, in a public setting, in a public position?! Pigs just want to get away with beating people down with no repercussions, pretty much what happens now around the country, just with even better odds and less resistance. Now usually we aren’t ones to take political stands (haha), but FUCK HB3944 – keep Copwatchin

Lots of love to Chicago Copwatch – show some support ya’ll!