Chicago Woman Learns Hard Lesson — Don’t Record Meeting With Police

Chicago Woman Learns Hard Lesson — Don’t Record Meeting With Police


In Chicago, think twice before you record a police officer.

Just ask Tiawanda Moore, who challenged the conduct of a police officer who was called to her home because of a domestic dispute.

Her troubles started when police arrived and placed Moore and her significant other in separate areas for questioning.  Moore claims that during the questioning in her bedroom, the officer came on to her, groped her breasts and slipped her his home phone number.

According to a story in the Huffington Post, Moore and her boyfriend attempted to report the incident to internal affairs at the Chicago Police Department but were discouraged her from filing a report, her attorney, Robert Johnson, said.

Johnson said Chicago police tried to intimidate her from filing a report against the officer.

Moore, feeling frightened during an internal affairs discussion, used her Blackberry to record the meeting.  Big mistake — in illinois, it is illegal to record people without their consent. The officers arrested her.

Moore’s case is proceeding through the system expeditiously, while the internal affairs complaint that led to the visit to the Chicago Police Department staggers in investigation mode.

Moore faces four to 15 years in prison because of recording her internal-affairs experience. She is fighting against her prosecution, and she has the support of a number of anti-domestic abuse groups, including the Chicago Task Force on Violence Against Girls & Young Women.

Moore’s experience is not uncommon. Citizens who record on-duty police officers often face arrest.

According to Radley Balko of the Huffington Post, “The media have largely done a poor job reporting on what the law actually is in these states.  Technically, so long as a person isn’t physically interfering with an on-duty policer officer, its legal to record the officer in every state but Massachusetts and Illinois.  Arrest still happen in other states, but there’s little legal justification for them, and the charges are usually dropped, or never filed at all.”

Moore is scheduled to go on trial Thursday.


  1. This is another example of institutional racism (e.g., government-mandated racism) which seeks to maintain a repressive system of white domination especially against Blacks. Who would think that a PUBLIC official (e.g., an on-duty police officer) would have the legislative right to repress evidence that in many instances has been shown to restore the public trust after police injustice.

    Yes, the federal government and its state confederates have all but vanquished individual and blatant organizational racism (both epitomized under Jim Crow), but have reserved for itself a reconstructed Jim Crow system which is just as effective as its predecessor.

    Yes, institutional racism is harder to prove despite many attempts by many intelligent people to prove its existence. The government only has to show that the rules apply to everyone when in fact they more often apply to Blacks.

    Blacks should not tolerate racism of any form regardless of its level of sophistication or regardless of government denials of its existence. We know that a leopard does not cease to be a leopard because its spots have changed.