Guy Arrested, Threatened With 15 Years For Recording Traffic Stop In Illinois
from the it-just-gets-worse-and-worse dept
Frobe calls it the worst experience of his life. He was on his way to a late evening movie on an August night last year when he was stopped for speeding in far north suburban Lindenhurst. He didn't believe he was in a 35-mile-an-hour zone, and he figured if he was going to get ticket he wanted to be able to document his challenge with video evidence, so he got out his flip camera, which he was not very adept at using.Yes, eavesdropping. On himself.
At one point he held it out the window trying to record where he was. When the officer, being recorded on his squad dash cam, walked back to Frobe's car, the officer saw Frobe's camera.
Officer: "That recording? Frobe : "Yes, Yes, I've been... Officer: "Was it recording all of our conversation? Frobe: "Yes. Officer: "Guess what? You were eavesdropping on our conversation. I did not give you permission to do so. Step out of the vehicle."
Louis Frobe was then cuffed and arrested for felony eavesdropping.
In this case, prosecutors eventually dropped the charges, but Frobe turned around and sued them for the arrest in the first place. The Illinois Attorney General -- who still insists there's no First Amendment right to record the police -- has said Frobe's case should be dismissed since he has no standing. Of course, this is a nearly identical fact pattern to the Glik case in Massachusetts, where the court not only allowed Glik to sue but found 1st and 4th Amendment problems with the arrest. These are different circuits, so the ruling in Massachusetts doesn't directly act as precedent for Illinois, but it certainly can be cited and discussed.