Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Video, courtrooms, cops and the Illinois authoritarian regime

Illinois is quickly becoming the most authoritarian regime in the United States, if it hasn’t already. This is evidenced by the Chris Drew case where he was arrested, while in public, for video recording his arrest by police, who are supposed to be public servants and were doing their public job. The law allows for a penalty of fifteen years in prison for this offense. Really? Fifteen years? There are some rapists who don’t get fifteen years. Isn’t that a bit over the top? Isn’t there something written down somewhere about cruel and unusual punishment? Isn’t the spirit of that supposed to be something about letting the punishment fit the crime? And in this case, was a crime really committed? If you are a resident of the state of Illinois, as I am, you should really be disturbed by the developments in this case.

Ask yourself if you really want your tax dollars going to pay for keeping people in prison for fifteen years for recording police. Don’t you think your money would be better spent elsewhere? The state just raised the income tax sixty six percent. The Illinois government has proven that they are fiscally irresponsible. They are ripping off the hard working people of Illinois to pay for their mistakes. They are chasing or keeping away businesses that would help with the massive unemployment. The prison population is exploding because they keep putting people in jail for victimless crimes. It might not be much, but it seems to me that something like this arrest shows just how they waste money cracking down on ridiculous crimes like this while real crime runs rampant.

The city of Chicago has already taken guns out of law abiding victims’ hands so they can’t fight back when they’re attacked. The police in Chicago have had a bad reputation for decades in terms of brutality. People have accused the police in Chicago time and again of brutality and nothing is ever done about it. Many more are brutalized or have their rights violated and just remain silent due to fear of retaliation. No one is ever punished. No one is ever held accountable. What are the people of Illinois supposed to do? Are we supposed to just bend over and take it? Are we supposed to just lay down and die? It seems to me that’s what those at the top of the Illinois politcs want.

Is that why the police are so frightened of being videoed when doing their job? What are they doing that they don’t want seen? How is the common man supposed to expose wrong doing by the police if he can’t record them doing their job? The courts have done nothing. They protect the police. Everyone seems to take the word of a police officer over the word of an honest, hard working individual in court in almost every case. The police have been trained to lie to entrap, so why would they be honest on the stand? Yet without video showing their wrong doing they get away with it nearly every time. More and more people are getting sick of this.

It has been a law in Illinois for a long time now that cameras or recording devices are not allowed in courtrooms. These are public facilities open to the general public that are supposed to be completely transparent. Is that because they’re also afraid that corruption in the courts might be exposed? They will cite privacy issues, but this is supposed to be a public venue. If there is a legitimate concern on a specific case than that issue can be dealt with for that case. There is no need for a blanket law keeping recording devices out of the courtrooms. As is often said, if you’re not doing anything wrong, there should be nothing to hide. No one’s perfect and if there’s ever a question about what happened it would be best to have more than eye witness accounts and only one transcript of events. By having laws restricting recording devices in courtrooms it makes it that much easier to get away with official corruption.

This law is not right. At the very least, its spirit is violated by charging Mr. Drew with such an offense. I can see this law used to prevent the police from entrapping innocents, but to use it against someone exposing real crimes or recording public servants in public is at the very least an abuse of the law. I think it’s a crime that causes real harm to a real person, and in this case that real person is Mr. Drew. I think the District Attorney in this case has abused his power and should be held accountable for his actions. Photography is not a crime. Video taken in public is not a crime. Recording in public is not a crime.

Chicago has been notorious for its corruption for a long, long time now. It’s a city that’s famous for being run by gangsters. It’s a city that made famous the saying vote early and often. It’s a city where the dead rise on election day. It has great influence on the state government. It is no wonder there is so much corruption in Illinois. It is no wonder they would make laws to make it difficult to expose their abuses. It is not going to stop until the people shout “Enough!” and begin to live like free people should rather than letting the bureaucrats do as they please.

There has not been enough outrage expressed in this case. I’d like to see the people of Illinois protest this law. I’d like to see them take to the streets with video cameras and put them in the faces of the police. I’d like to see them let public servants know that we are keeping an eye on them. I’d like to see flyers put on telephone poles demanding an end to laws that allow the corruption to remain hidden. I doubt very much I’m going to see that as the sheeple of Illinois bow their heads and bleat quietly as they go along to get along.

Original report here

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