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Illinois becoming more authoritarian

Discussion in 'The Soapbox' started by AMonger, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. AMonger

    AMonger Veteran Expediter

    Mar 28, 2010
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    Having been raised in Illinois, I'd always considered it the land where regular, reasonable people lived. That was reinforced when I became a trucker and have since been through all the contiguous 48 more than once; a trip to Newark or even Detroit will show you how different people separated by even short distances can be.

    But things change, I guess. The Illinois-ans I was raised with wouldn't have allowed this to happen. I don't know how long this has been on the books, but before recording equipment became ubiquitous, it wasn't relevant to the average citizen.

    Here's the link, for people who hate reading things pasted from my phone:


    15 Years in Prison…. for
    Recording a Traffic Stop
    by Eric Peters
    Recently by Eric Peters: Left
    to Pass… Please
    Louis Frobe is facing hard
    time. Fifteen years in prison
    – the sort of sentence
    typically handed out for
    crimes such as second-
    degree murder and rape.
    Frobe’s crime?
    He recorded a traffic stop.
    Stopped for speeding in
    Lindenhurst, Illinois, Frobe
    attempted to document the
    event, including the
    conversation between
    himself and the traffic cop.
    After all, the cop was
    recording him and the cop’s
    video/audio record of the
    traffic stop could and
    probably would be used as
    evidence against Frobe in
    court, if Frobe decided to
    contest the speeding ticket.
    Moreover, Frobe was out in
    public – where the courts
    have ruled there is no
    expectation of privacy,
    period – and the cop who
    pulled Frobe over is a public
    official, performing his
    official duties.
    But in some states, they –
    that is, the cops – see
    themselves as a protected
    class, entitled to special
    privileges, including a legal
    double-standard that says
    certain laws apply to us but
    not to them . This includes
    audio and video recording
    of them performing their
    (cough) “duties” – which in
    a truly masterful display of
    Orwellian Newspeak and
    doublethink – they equate
    with eavesdropping – and
    for which they will try to
    slap you with a felony and
    destroy your life.
    Here’s what happened to
    Frobe, from the actual audio
    recording of his traffic stop:
    Cop: “That recording?”
    Frobe: “Yes, yes, I’ve been
    Cop: “Was it recording all of
    our conversation?”
    Frobe: “Yes, officer.”
    Cop: “Guess what? You were
    eavesdropping on our
    conversation. I did not give
    you permission to do so.
    Step out of the vehicle.”
    The happy malevolence –
    the sadism – of the cop can
    be detected merely by
    reading the transcript. You
    can imagine how Frobe
    probably felt at this
    Frobe was handcuffed,
    carted off to jail and
    charged under state law
    with felony eavesdropping,
    which could lead to a prison
    term of fifteen years. He is
    now in the position of
    having to spend a large sum
    of money on legal
    representation, and
    meanwhile, his life is in
    limbo. Until the nightmare
    ends, he must endure every
    moment imaging the
    prospect of spending
    possibly a third of his life
    among the OJs and Scott
    Petersens of this world. His
    life is effectively ruined –
    even if he is ultimately
    vindicated by the courts.
    The law, written for
    obviously different purposes
    (ironically, to protect
    unwary citizens who have
    had their phones tapped by
    investigators) is being used
    as a brutal tool of
    intimidation against
    ordinary citizens such as
    Frobe – or you and me –
    who dare to question the
    absolute, unaccountable
    authority of cops.
    The prospect of a felony
    conviction – ruinous to a
    person’s reputation, their
    ability to find or maintain
    employment – let alone the
    prospect of being sent to
    prison, possibly to live for
    years among violent thugs –
    certainly gets the job done.
    There’s already a big, hairy
    thumb pressing down one
    side of the scales of justice.
    In court, the word of a cop
    is considered almost holy
    writ,merely by dint of his
    being a cop. Meanwhile, the
    word of a citizen is
    essentially worthless. Even if
    the citizen is a person of
    unimpeachable character.
    The cop says the citizen did
    (or said) “x.” The citizen
    disputes this. Whose version
    will the court accept?
    We all know the answer.
    And we also know that cops
    can be corrupt, lying thugs.
    The video and audio
    evidence of this is
    irrefutable. YouTube has
    become a sort of public
    forum for revealing the
    actual conduct of some cops,
    in a way that cannot be
    denied or explained away
    by such bromides as “he was
    resisting arrest.” A recent,
    horrid example being the
    case of the homeless
    schizophrenic who was
    literally beaten to death by
    a gang of cops; the incident
    was – fortunately – recorded
    and it’s clear – thanks to the
    video evidence – that beat-
    down was egregiously
    unjustified; a murder , in
    plain English.
    Which is precisely why some
    cops – and some states – are
    so determined to use any
    tactic, including the threat of
    a decade or more in prison,
    to keep what they do off the
    record and unaccountable to
    anyone other than
    “They had audio and they
    had video on me, but I’m
    not allowed to do it (record)
    to them,” Frobe said later.
    “I’m in a private car on a
    public street and it’s a
    public official. Why
    shouldn’t I be able to record
    what’s going on to prove my
    innocence?” he asks.
    Why, indeed.
    In law, there was once a
    precept known as malicious
    (or criminal) intent. This
    was an essential attribute as
    far as defining any given
    action as criminal.
    Eavesdropping laws, for
    example, were written to
    protect people from having
    their private conversations
    recorded (absent a court
    order) without their
    knowledge or consent, for
    purposes of using those
    recordings against them –
    whether in the context of a
    court proceeding or
    otherwise (such as
    Where is the malicious/
    criminal intent in the case of
    a citizen documenting his
    own arrest? How, in any
    way, is the citizen
    perpetrating a harm against
    the cop?
    The answer, clearly, is that
    the harm at issue is the
    “harm” not merely of
    possibly revealing that cops
    are not always saints (and
    sometimes, worse than
    devils) but, more deeply, of
    taking that big hairy thumb
    off the scales of justice. Of
    equalizing things between
    citizens and cops.
    A video or audio recording
    means it’s no longer John
    Q’s (legally worthless) word
    against the legally near-
    unchallengeable word of a
    A video recording of a cop
    berating (or beating) a
    citizen – especially if it gets
    out on YouTube – well, we
    can’t have that. It
    undermines respect for The
    Higher courts have
    repeatedly thrown out
    arrests of citizens based on
    this twisted misuse of
    eavesdropping statutes,
    declaring them
    unconstitutional violations of
    the First Amendment,
    among other things. But that
    hasn’t prevented endlessly
    insolent police departments
    in Illinois and Maryland and
    elsewhere from continuing
    to threaten people with
    arrest and imprisonment –
    the mere prospect of which
    is sufficient to cow most
    people into abject, cringing
    submission, since for most
    people, even the thought of
    being charged with a felony,
    no matter how legally
    unsupportable and even if it
    will ultimately be thrown
    out, is a chilling prospect.
    And that’s precisely what’s
    wanted: Fear – and
    The Law is irrelevant – not
    just what the courts rule The
    Law to be but right down to
    the core of it, the
    Constitution of the United
    States itself. It is effectively
    null and void. Authority
    does what it wills – because
    it is Authority.
    The malignant precedent for
    this was set at the national
    level by The Chimp, who
    brazenly deeeecided he was
    not bound by any law and
    would rule by decree. It was
    called “executive order” or
    “executive privilege” – and
    the public blithely accepted
    it. Now it is routine practice,
    performed casually by The
    Chimp’s successor and every
    Little Chimp on down the
    It will take a few brave
    souls such as Louis Frobe,
    willing to put themselves in
    harm’s way in defense of a
    principle, to put an end to
    this. If it is even possible to
    still do so at this late hour.
    I hope it’s not too late.
    But I fear it may be.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  2. blackpup

    blackpup Expert Expediter

    Mar 29, 2011
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  3. Brisco

    Brisco Expert Expediter

    Sep 15, 2009
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    I'd like to hear the conversation between Louis Frobe and the Officer that occurred before what is being shared here. Pretty sure this guy here that tried to get one over on the Officer wasn't all "apologitic" about speeding in a 35 mph zone. Kinda bet he was challenging the Officer right from the get go.

    His "Attorney" is sooooooooo wrong with her belief right here:

    Nooooo....it was NOT a "Public Function". It was a Legal Action, a Legal Proceeding. An Officer of The Law was enforcing the Laws he was sworn to enforce by conducting a legal traffic stop when he observed a vehicle breaking a Traffic Law by speeding.

    No sympathy for whiney ole' Louis Frobe. Kudos to the Officer staying "in charge" of that stop and for enforcing a Law on the books by arresting that whiney baby for clearly breaking another another law by recording a conversation with a Law Enforcer who was out enforcing the Laws of Illinois.
  4. Brisco

    Brisco Expert Expediter

    Sep 15, 2009
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  5. Tennesseahawk

    Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

    Aug 8, 2004
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    Brisco... government can call it anything it wants... eavesdropping, in this case. Hell... the "Patriot" Act allows for all sorts of eavesdropping. Wouldn't that make Mr. Frobe a patriot? :rolleyes:

    With this interpretation of these laws, who do you honestly believe is being protected here, Brisco? I'll give you a hint... it's not the public.
  6. blackpup

    blackpup Expert Expediter

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  7. blackpup

    blackpup Expert Expediter

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    I wonder if your cut & pastes are staying in smartphone format instead of changing to standard format ? Question is probably laughable, as I have very little knowledge of computers

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  8. AMonger

    AMonger Veteran Expediter

    Mar 28, 2010
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    Whether or not he was aware of it is irrelevant. What's relevant is that the "law" is invalid on its face. It is impossible to eavesdrop on one's own conversation.

    Second, as has been mentioned, the "law" can't be based on privacy because one has no reasonable expectation of privacy in public. A cop has absolutely no right to privacy while on duty unless he's using the toilet or changing his clothes.

    Third, we are the masters of both the cops and government in general. It is offensive to reason that a cop can record us, but we can't record him.

    Fourth, all police actions are public business. The courthouse blotter is public record. That also eliminates the privacy angle.

    I'm having this discussion with a cousin of mine, who just happens to be a cop in Illinois. Can't wait to see what he has to say.
  9. Turtle

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

    Apr 5, 2006
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    In law (and law enforcement), a "legal action" is defined as a judicial proceeding, any lawsuit, or prosecution brought by one party against another to protect a right or remedy a legal violation or injustice.

    A "legal proceeding" is defined in law as the institution of a sequence of steps by which legal judgments are invoked.

    A "Public Function" has special and specific meaning in the law, and is defined (the Public-Function Doctrine) as actions which are traditionally reserved to the state, where a private person’s actions constitute state action provided the private person performs functions which are traditionally reserved to the state. A "Public Function" can only be performed by a "public official", which is further defined in the Public-Function Doctrine (and elsewhere) as any person holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office, whether appointed or elected; any other person who performs a public function or provides a public service; any other person defined as a public official in the domestic law.

    Law enforcement officers are officers of the Court, and are public officials who perform public functions. Performing a traffic stop is, literally and legally, a public function. Frobe's attorney wasn't merely stating her belief, she was stating an irrefutable legal fact.
  10. AMonger

    AMonger Veteran Expediter

    Mar 28, 2010
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    Heard from my cousin, the cop in Illinois. He used to be a motorcycle cop, but now he's apparently a school-cop.

    Anyway, he said that when a guy's being a jerk, you pull any old law out of the books to punish him. Even if it gets thrown out of court later, at least you put your hands on him and ruined his day.

    Law enforcement does something to a man; my cousin wasn't an @$$#0£€ when he was young.
  11. Tennesseahawk

    Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

    Aug 8, 2004
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    You don't punish someone like that, just for being a jerk.

    I think you found your definition of evil.
  12. Turtle

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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    Here's an interesting tid bit, in the same vein....

    Every 6 months Google releases their Government Requests-Google Transparency Report, which breaks down all the requests from government agencies around the world, including court orders and police jurisdictions, to remove content (a few Blogs, pictures for copyright, but mostly YouTube videos for one reason or another, and for some countries, like Russia, it's for user account data. In fact, Russia had so many requests for user information that they topped Google's threshold for requests of such data. "Sorry, one bazillion requests per six months is all you're allowed."

    The Register has a short piece on it, and points out what each country considers important enough to request a take-down.

    If you look at the Report and read through the percent increases and what all was requested, you'll see lots of interesting things, but when you click on a country you get a detailed breakdown, and the US breakdown is interesting indeed. The US doesn't like it when videos get posted depicting police brutality, and they also received a government request to take down a video because it showed government criticism. Google did not comply with that one.

    "US Law Enforcement and courts requested the removal of 757 items from Google's servers—mostly Youtube videos depicting acts of police brutality."

  13. Tennesseahawk

    Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

    Aug 8, 2004
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    I think they're overblowing things. Those numbers aren't staggering. Yeah, I get the police brutality stuff... cops were taped kicking the crap out of someone, and they don't want it seen. But the government thing could be Nancy Pelosie's office wanting them to take down a site that shows her effigy on an elephant's butt. IOW, it's only one... it doesn't scare me.

    Personally, I'd like to know how many the FBI has brow-beaten them into taking down, and demanding they don't report it. I'd bet that's been done.

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