Civil Rights in the 21st Century, and a Brave Citizen

To summarize that 14 minute video, Michael Allison of Illinois has been charged with “eavesdropping” for publicly recording the actions of Law Officers in the execution of their duties, and now faces 75 years in prison. He has refused a plea deal, and seems to be attempting to force this issue to go either before the supreme court of Illinois where the relevant laws will hopefully be shot down, or to the US Supreme Court where identical laws across our nation (including in California) would all be shot down. We need more patriots like this man – most people would simply take the plea deal (probation and no jail time) knowing that the result would be future citizens facing a situation similar to his in the future. Since about 1954, the US Supreme court has been the most often used policy-level venue to address Civil Rights issues, but Amending the US Constitution remains a valid fall-back.

Click here to find out if your State, like California and Illinois, is one of the Dirty Dozen.

In this event that this isn’t settled in the courts within the next decade or so, me and a friend have drafted a very rough proposed Amendment to the US Constitution that would directly address this. Version “B” of our draft reads as follows:

Amendment Regarding the Use of Privately Owned Recording Devices

Section 1. Nothing in this amendment shall be interpreted as applying to recording devices owned by Federal, State, or Local governments or as applying to officials thereof using recording devices while acting in any official capacity.

Section 2. In all public areas of the United States inside the various states and territories thereof, Federal, State, and Local government officials being recorded in the execution of their duties on public lands such as parks and roads need not be informed nor provide consent for their actions to be legally recorded. On private property, existing Federal, State, and Local laws shall continue to be in effect.

Section 3. When such recording is occurring using a mobile device, the private individual must make reasonable efforts to maintain at least 20 feet of distance from the official.

Section 4. In any case wherein such recording devices are searched or seized, any and all recordings that include Federal, State, or Local government officials executing their duties shall be held for a period of not less than 10 years in an unmodified state. Copies must be entered into the public record in an unmodified state except where such modifications are permitted in section 5, and in such a way that the general public can readily access them, unless the recording would prejudice an ongoing criminal investigation.

Section 5. The faces, voices, and unique identifying marks of private persons may obfuscated only to the extent necessary to prevent recognition of specific persons in any of the following cases:

a) If requested by the person in question or legal representatives of such person.
b) If done by a State or locally established and legally empowered privacy committee.
c) As required by State law or Local government ordinance.

In addition, the obfuscation must be removed if requested by the person or legal representatives of such persons.

Section 6. Section 5 obfuscation is to be done at the expense of States or Local governances that have or wish to enact such laws. The extent of Section 5 obfuscation is to be determined by the locality in which the recording was made, not by the jurisdiction of the official that seized the material.

Section 7. Local jurisdictions are to create and maintain websites to facilitate this, and such websites shall not record any data regarding persons accessing said website.

Slowly, a few judges seem to be concluding that the existing US Bill of Rights covers most of the above and are nullifying existing laws as unconstitutional. To read about that angle being taken, click here.

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Civil Rights in the 21st Century, and a Brave Citizen

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