Yesterday, we wrote about a woman who was facing 15 years in jail
for using her cameraphone to videotape part of her effort to get Internal Affairs of the Chicago Police Department to investigate an officer, whom she claims sexually assaulted her. Apparently, this sort of situation is not unique in Illinois. Another story this week tells about an artist who set out to do a reasonable bit of civil disobedience: to protest a Chicago ordinance concerning where and when he could sell artwork on the street. He intended to get arrested for that misdemeanor by selling his art. As part of this, he had a First Amendment lawyer with him... and a video crew
. Well, he did get arrested, but not for the misdemeanor of selling artwork in the wrong spot, but for the same felony of eavesdropping
and is facing the same 15 years in prison as the woman we spoke about yesterday. Apparently, a big part of the problem is Illinois' Eavesdropping Act, which seems to create this ridiculous situation. Of course, the fact that prosecutors are actually moving forward with charges on such things is equally ridiculous. It's a good reminder of a reason to stay away from Chicago.