Woman Sues After Arrest For Recording Police Cover-Up

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Tiawanda Moore, Illinois Eavesdropping LawTiawanda Moore (pictured) has filed a suit against the city of Chicago, after she was arrested for secretly recording a police officer asking her not to file a charge against his co-worker for touching her inappropriately.

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Moore, 21, called in to report an officer who’d groped her breast while responding to a domestic disturbance at the home she shared with her boyfriend.   But rather than receiving justice, Tiawanda was charged with violating the Illinois eavesdropping law, a felony that carries a stiff penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

After recording her conversation with the officer and being charged for it, Moore was later acquitted in August.  One of the jurors called the trial “a waste of time.”

Moore spent two weeks in the Cook County Jail.  She eventually got out and filed suit against the city and the police department.  She is alleging unreasonable seizure, false arrest, and malicious prosecution and claims that the law specifically exempts those who record police officers “under reasonable suspicion that another party to the conversation is committing or is about to commit” a crime.

Prominent Chicago attorney Karen Cecile-Wallace says that Moore was right to record the officer:

The Illinois eavesdropping statute is a double-edged sword. It prohibits persons from being recorded without their knowledge and permission, but Moore was within her right to protect herself from the officer’s blatant unlawful and egregious acts. I commend the jury for reaching the right decision.

I am in agreement with attorney Wallace.  It’s interesting to see legislators creating laws that serve to protect themselves at the expense of the American public.   This woman did nothing wrong, and it’s frightening to live in a world where a woman who records a police officer seeking to cover up a crime, can end up in jail.  Welcome to the end of American democracy; our country is no longer the standard bearer as it pertains to civil liberties.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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