ACLU of Illinois Attorney Adam Schwartz wrote a letter to the Jacksonville, IL police Chief who threatened to arrest a man for audio recording their interactions, as reported in the Journal-Courier. The letter made clear that as a result of the ruling in ACLU v. Alvarez, the Illinois Eavesdropping Act was unconstitutional as applied to audio recording of on-duty police.

In his letter, he added, "Mr. Newingham's action — audio recording an on-duty police officer in a public place — is protected by the First Amendment. See ACLU v. Alavarez … This decision is controlling throughout Illinois."

Late last year, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a ruling to stand in the Illinois 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that video recording an on-duty police officer was protected by the Constitution and exempt from eavesdropping laws, which were placed on the books in the 1960s.

Read the article. Read the letter (PDF).

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