In 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court found the state’s strict eavesdropping law to be unconstitutional under the First Amendment (People v Clark). Prior to that decision, Illinois had been an outlier among most states with regard to private citizens’ right to record law enforcement officials under any conditions. Most other states already allowed the taping of conversations with police or anyone else without obtaining all-parties’ consent or in most cases, without even letting them know they were being recorded. But in Illinois, taping a conversation with a police officer without consent was a Class 1 felony with ten year prison potential.
Following that decision, it took a year for our state legislature to amend the Illinois Eavesdropping law, and now Illinois law gives citizens the right to record public conversations with police, arrests and other law enforcement activity without their consent. 720 ILCS 5/14-1 is an improvement. Nothing promotes accountability like on the spot electronic documentation.