Home > Chicago, Legal & Copyright, Uncategorized > Chris Drew, Front Page of Chicago Tribune

Chris Drew, Front Page of Chicago Tribune

Meanwhile, I failed to post that Chris Drew of the Art Patch Project that I have been participating in made the front page of the Tribune on January 2, 2012.  The primary function of the the Art Patch Project is to raise awareness of bans on public vending of art.  Drew and a few others have a class action lawsuit against the city, seeking reform of the Peddler’s Laws in Chicago, under the banner of art sales being protected free speech under the First Amendment.  He was promptly arrested for trying to sell art patch artworks for $1.00 each downtown, and the small audio recording device in his pocket opened a whole can of trouble.  The Art Patch Project was an ongoing action to bring awareness to his plight.

What is basically called the Illinois eavesdropping law makes it illegal to record police or city officials at all, even in public.  Other states have similar laws that are being challenged.  The idea was to protect plainclothes and undercover police officers from assassination and similar mafia or gang related killing, where a photograph or video of the target would aid the intentions of a potential killer.  The whole law is antithetical to the ideas of journalism and people in public space not having any expectations of privacy. This is a hot button issue in Chicago where former Police Commander Jon Burge confessed to knowing about and took responsibility for two decades of torturing confessions from arrested suspects.  I have seen my share of footage of bad officers giving people that were handcuffed the a serious ghetto beat down.  Sometimes the footage comes from the camera mounted in the front of police cars.  I believe there are a lot of good officers, but police violence and corruption has been an ongoing problem in the city.  It has gotten to the point where Chicago is considering passing anti-torture laws just to make the illegal nature of torture crystal clear.

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