Homewood Man Records Officers Because he was 'Being Followed by 5 Cops,' Reports Say
A man reportedly used his phone to record police when they were at a post office. He said he tapes them because they're all "crooked," cops said. The arrest ties in with scrutiny of the Ill. Eavesdropping Act, which a judge is expected to rule on today.
Officers arrested a 53-year-old man at the Tinley Park Post Office last month who was allegedly recording them without their consent.
However, Steven M. Sorensen was not charged with eavesdropping for the reported offense. Rather, he faces one count of disorderly conduct. That's because the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, which bans the recording of public officials—among others—without their consent, is under fire today. A Cook County judge is expected to rule on its constitutionality.
Police asked Sorensen, of the 18400 block of Perth Avenue in Homewood, to delete a recording he'd made of them driving and getting out of their cars, according to the report. An officer said that while he was on his way to the post office on Feb. 14, he noticed Sorensen holding his phone out of his van window.
"The subject responded that he is videotaping crooked cops," the report said, regarding Sorensen's answer why he was filming the officer. "I asked how I was crooked and he replied, 'Because you are following me.'"
The officer had a stack of letters in his hand to mail, he said. Sorensen insisted that he was "being followed by five cops," according to the report.
Police asked him to delete the recording he'd made because he was violating the Illinois eavesdropping law. Sorensen refused to delete his recording or relinquish his phone.
Officers took him into custody and asked the Cook County State's Attorney to review the possibility of filing felony eavesdropping charges, seeing as how the recording was taken on federal property.
"A discussion ensued regarding the law possibly changing and the current legislation," the report said, noting that the law has recently come under fire.
The eavesdropping charges were denied because of the law's scrutiny. Sorensen was instead charged with one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.