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Man faces life in prison for filming cops

Published time: September 01, 2011 23:00
Edited time: September 02, 2011 03:00

42-year-old Michael Allison faces 75 years behind bars for filming a cop.

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When cops in Illinois started inspecting Michael Allison’s vehicles parked on his mom’s property, he turned on his camera while he went to see what the hubbub was about.

When cops in Illinois started inspecting Michael Allison’s vehicles parked on his mom’s property, he turned on his camera while he went to see what the hubbub was about. That didn’t put that happy of a face on the police officer, and now Allison is facing 75 years in prison for hitting “record.”

Authorities have charged Allison, 42, with five counts of eavesdropping, each with a maximum of 15 years in prison. He is looking at spending the rest of his life behind bars because the state is applying an archaic law to modern technology to keep citizens from snooping around cops.

Only days after Allison was charged, the US 1st Circuit Court of Appeals stated that recording police in public was guaranteed through the First Amendment. Cops in Illinois, however, aren’t agreeing.

“Just because they can get a jury to convict somebody doesn’t mean that the statute was applicable,” said radio host Alex Jones to RT. He says that calling Allison’s actions illegal is a “giant hoax” and those authorities pegging the case as a wiretapping issue has it all wrong. Jones said that being in public removes all perception of privacy, and for that very reason cops can have cameras in their own squad cars.

Jones added to RT that it is the “scariest thing I've seen in a long time that the police would knowingly try to put this guy in prison for life for simply videotaping” them in public.

Allison has so far refused a plea deal and is seeking counsel from the American Civil Liberties Union. "If we don't fight for our freedoms here at home we're all going to lose them,” he said to Gather.com.

Should he be convicted of his crimes, Allison will be serving the same punishment as murderers and rapists.