Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez Loses Bid To Allow Jailing Of Citizens Who Film Police In Public

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez failed in her latest effort to strip citizens of a basic right to film police in public — and thereby eliminate the single most effective tool against police abuse in this century. The Supreme Court refused her appeal of the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which expressly criticized Alvarez for her “extreme” position on the rights of citizens. As a native Chicagoan, I remain astonished that citizens have allowed Alvarez to remain in office as she has publicly sought to strip them of their rights and block a tool that has been used repeatedly to show police abuse. For a leading and generally liberal jurisdiction, Chicago has the ignominy and dishonor of leading the effort to fight core civil liberties in this area.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in 2010 against Alvarez to block prosecution of ACLU staff for recording police officers in public. We have been following the effort of police and prosecutors around the country to deter such citizen monitoring of police. This trend continued this week with another disturbing case out of California. For a prior column, click here.

It is otherworldly to see these abuses occurring in two usually progressive jurisdictions of California and Illinois. Alvarez has become the leader of this rogue’s gallery of prosecutors who have strived to jail their own citizens for monitoring police in public. It is, to put it bluntly, a disgrace. While Alvarez failed in her latest bid, she and other prosecutors remain undeterred in their desire to see citizens punished for such videotapes — tapes that have featured prominently in establishing false arrests and police abuse. Before such filming, abuse claims were overwhelmingly rejected with the denials of the officers. Now, there is often undeniable proof — proof that Alvarez and others want barred under the threat of criminal prosecution.

Source: Chicago Tribune

39 thoughts on “Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez Loses Bid To Allow Jailing Of Citizens Who Film Police In Public”

  1. Good news coming out of the Supreme Court, but I want to see how Cook County responds to the denial of their appeal before I get too excited.

  2. NickS,

    I am sipping my way through Hunter S Thompson’s ’72 campaign. Resd of George Meany’s demise by stroke after a 8-minute rage in front of the TV showing the last of the machine delegates who bought Muskie. That Daley
    went down too, put the machine Dems in total disarray, accdg to him.

    By you they are back in Chicago. 50 years is a long time.

    The parallels are constantly coming up to compare.

  3. 1) Can she not be countersued.
    2) On what grounds rested the lower courts decision?
    3) Are not such decisions, such as these two (ncluding denial of review) not appolicable in other jurisdictions? IE, what has to happen to put an end to this harassment?

  4. Dear Anita, there is a Constitution. I only wish there was a special place for State’s Ttornies like Anita like jail. The one place she should not be in on the list of persons allowed to practice law. Disbarment seems like a good start.

  5. Darren Smith 1, November 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Dred contributed:
    “The C++ “!=” …”
    ~+~

    How about the following to help the Republican Party…
    <<
    ===================================
    Yep, the shift left operator.

  6. Dred contributed:
    “The C++ “!=” …”
    ~+~

    How about the following to help the Republican Party…
    <<

  7. Pepe 1, November 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    @Gene – if you are directly replying to me, “!=” means “does not equal”, so, I do not gainsay you.

    I would correct one thing though: “centrist” is really a meaningless term. As the conservatives move more to the right, the centrist jogs right along with them remaining slightly to their left (in theory) making Obama to the right of Nixon. “Centrist” is also a code word that means a Democrat who supports Republican policy, which also describes Obama – see, Obamacare, nee Romneycare.
    ====================================
    The C++ “!=” …

    And yes, the terms we use to determine location on a political map is like watching desert dunes change from time to time.

    Left, middle, and right are all meaningless terms in the sense that any one of them can be the other, depending on the winds of propaganda.

    Bloviation happens, constantly rearranging the left, right and middle of the sand dunes of political dogma in the U.S.eh?

  8. SWM. Agreed, at least of late anyway. Both parties have swung over the decades. But at least since the MCGovern loss, you’re right.

  9. @Gene – if you are directly replying to me, “!=” means “does not equal”, so, I do not gainsay you.

    I would correct one thing though: “centrist” is really a meaningless term. As the conservatives move more to the right, the centrist jogs right along with them remaining slightly to their left (in theory) making Obama to the right of Nixon. “Centrist” is also a code word that means a Democrat who supports Republican policy, which also describes Obama – see, Obamacare, nee Romneycare.

  10. I would add New York City to Gene’s list of corrupt municipalities ignoring Civil Liberties. Their stop and frisk policy, which is directed at people of color is truly an abomination. Mayor Bloomberg is what is euphemistically known as a “Benign Despot” although in truth that has always been an oxymoron.

  11. There are quite a few more liberals to add to the list that were recently elected.

  12. Nick, it has always been the progressive democrats vs the machine, and the machine usually wins.

  13. False equivalence. Obama isn’t a liberal. He’s a centrist. Neither are Emanuel or Alvarez. A liberal wouldn’t be attempting to quash citizen’s rights to protect police wrongdoing but rather supporting citizen’s rights. There are very few actual liberals in American politics. Most Democrats tend to be like the centrist Republicans of old, but it is just that the GOP has moved so far to the right, it makes them look liberal in comparison. There are only two people in American politics today that leap to mind as being an actual liberal and one’s an Independent: Bernie Sanders (VT-I) and Alan Grayson (FL-D, elect).

  14. I’ll have to say Anita Alvarez’s commitment to protecting the Constitution is far from impressive, but Chicago is hardly the only city with political machines intrinsically at odds with civil and/or human rights. New Orleans, LA, Dallas and Houston readily come to mind as well. It’s not so much a matter of partisan affiliation as it is a propensity for embracing corruption and putting self perpetuation ahead of the best interests of constituents. What is particularly distressing about Chicago, and New Orleans for that matter, is how the local establishments not only embrace such corruption and malfeasance, but actually romanticize it. It gives them a “Pirate’s swagger” that the participants think is cool, but really it’s just pathetic and sleazy. Just as the old saying goes “all politics is local”, so is all corruption and malfeasance.

  15. Mr. Turley, Chicago is very DemocratIC, not progressive. Here’s a perfect example linked to this topic. Chicago leads the nation in police surveillance cameras. They can video you in public but not vice versa. The core of Chicago culture and politics is really quite regressive. There are MANY more examples. This woman is a joke DA as was Richie Daley when he held that post. At least she can speak in complete sentences.

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