All the trappings of a police state
Imagine living in a place where the authorities can record everything you say or do without your consent, however if you do the same – for your own protection – that’s a felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail.
Sound like a place you’d want to live?
In fact, that’s precisely the case in Illinois. Watch this illuminating 15 minute video. If it doesn’t make you furious, then you simply don’t care about your Constitutionally guaranteed rights. And you’re perfectly fine with the creeping fascism that seems to be infecting parts of our country:
Recording conversations and events pertinent to your legal situation, standing and rights, especially when dealing with public officials in their official capacity, should not be in question. Ever. Wanting a record makes perfect sense and, as you might imagine, has a tendency to keep conversations and actions in line with the law and on a much more polite and civil level.
Most importantly, it is something you must have every a right to do. Why is it they get a legal right to privacy (i.e. can deny consent) when the citizen doesn’t enjoy the same right? That’s not how I understand the purpose of the Constitution and the rights it guarantees the citizens. It is government it prohibits from violating the rights of citizens not the other way around.
I can certainly understand the law saying one must inform a public official that he or she is being recorded (a simple, “hey, I’m recording this” would suffice), but beyond that, I see no requirement that they give obtain consent for that recording to continue, especially while the public official is acting within their official capacity and executing the duties of their office.
What this gentleman is going through is simply an exercise in raw power designed to intimidate. Obviously the law needs to be changed and changed expeditiously. But if that doesn’t happen – and it appears it won’t – his best chance is a jury trial. Most people with any sense are going to reject the government’s case as overbearing, a violation of a citizen’s rights and just plain old un-American. And as you can see in the video, any attempt to solicit information about the case from public officials was ignored. That should tell you a lot about how confident they are about the case.
Bottom line: This is an example of the creeping fascism that is infecting our country. This is “let me see your papers” territory. And it needs to be firmly and swiftly nipped in the bud.