By: Kate Pabich
Did you know it's illegal to video tape or take pictures of on duty police officers in Illinois? Well, that could soon be changing.
Right now it's a felony to record an officer on duty, but yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an argument that it should stay illegal, so the eavesdropping law is one step closer to being taken off the books.
That's exactly what one Moline man wants. The argument over the eavesdropping law is one that Jerry Johnson knows all too well.
The Moline man thought nothing of it when he says he was pulled over for a traffic offense in February.
"They told me I'm being arrested for felony eavesdropping. I never even knew that was such a law."
Johnson says the officer pulled out a tazer and that's when he hit record.
"I pulled out my cell phone and said I'm recording this for my own safety and you can see me holding it up this whole time."
Johnson says he was taken to jail and told he could face up to 15 years in prison. One expensive lawyer later Johnson says, the charges were dropped because of the pending case between The ALCU and Cook County State's Attorney, Anita Alvarez.
Alvarez wanted the law to be upheld, but The ACLU said it violates free speech. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and on Monday the justices basically sided with The ACLU and threw it out.
Johnson says it's a win for all citizens. But it's not a done deal yet. The case still has to go through lower courts before the law can officially be changed.