UPDATED: Daley Defends City’s Camera Network

Updated 02/08/11 – 4:30 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Richard M. Daley has rejected a call from the American Civil Liberties Union to stop expanding use of surveillance cameras and to require authorities to have probable cause before zooming in on anyone with a city camera.

On Monday, the ACLU of Illinois issued a report claiming there are about 10,000 cameras in Chicago, including cameras operated by police, public schools, public transit and private businesses linked to the city’s 911 Center.

The ACLU said the city shouldn’t add any more cameras to the city’s surveillance network, because it’s an invasion of privacy.

Harvey Grossman, legal director of the ACLU of Illinois, said there’s the potential for wrongful conduct when it comes to the cameras in the city, and there needs to be some sort of regulation. The ACLU wants the city to stop installing new cameras and to limit the ability to zoom in on people, to use facial recognition technology and to track someone’s movement.

“The system is capable of tracking people, it is capable of recognizing people by their face, by biometrics and in addition, it’s capable of zooming,” Grossman said.

The ACLU said the city should show probable cause before using those tactics.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Daley rejected those demands on Tuesday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Daley said the surveillance is a cost-effective way to help police fight crime.

“What cameras are, is to prevent crime, to tell criminals, ‘Yes, you are going to be focused,'” Daley said Tuesday. “We’re not spying on anybody. This is the public way. … We’re not spying on anyone or identifying anyone, or racially profiling anyone. We’re not.”

Daley also said it would be impractical to ask a judge to find there’s probable cause before zooming in.

“Ask a judge who’s sleeping tonight, at 2 o’clock in the morning, and say ‘Judge, we have probable cause, the person is walking down 22nd Street,'” Daley said. “By the time we get there the person’s already at Halsted Street.”

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, virtually anywhere in the city, if you look around, you’ll probably spot a surveillance camera.

There are red light cameras, security surveillance cameras and police “blue light” pod cameras.

At the intersection of Madison and Halsted Streets, there are five separate surveillance cameras visible.

Blue-light cameras have been strategically placed in high-crime areas since 2003. As a whole, Chicago Police have praised the initiative, and Mayor Richard M. Daley has said it has helped authorities respond more quickly to crimes and helped make thousands of arrests.

At the same time, the public has different opinions on the subject too.

Pedestrian Mark Bodnar said, “It’s a violation of my rights.”

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, when the police blue light camera program first began, many city residents praised the system. However, the main complaint for some was that gangs and criminals had transferred their activity from major streets with cameras to side streets without them.

The system has been called the most extensive and integrated camera network of any U.S. city by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

In the Bucktown neighborhood Tuesday morning, some people still said the cameras are helpful for fighting crime.

“I actually think they keep us safe,” one man said. “So long as no one’s dong anything private in the corner, no one’s invading your privacy. So as long as it’s not in my living room window, it’s OK.”

“There’s no invasion of privacy because it’s obvious that the camera is there,” another man said. “So if everybody knows that the camera is there, why don’t you operate is if the camera is there and don’t do anything illegal.”

A spokesperson for the city’s Office of Emergency Management said there are standards are in place for those trained to use the cameras. Supervisors monitor those who are watching surveillance video and workers must log into the system with a personal ID.

OEMC denied that the city has facial recognition software and said that only objects, not people are tracked using cameras in the city.

The ACLU said there needs to be a full review of the city’s cameras, saying city officials won’t release basic information like the exact number, cost and any incidents of misuse.

Those concerns, along with city officials’ plans for expansion, put Chicago a step closer to a Big Brother invasion of privacy, the ACLU alleged.

“Chicago’s camera network invades the freedom to be anonymous in public places, a key aspect of the fundamental American right to be left alone,” the report states. “Each of us then will wonder whether the government is watching and recording us when we walk into a psychiatrist’s office, a reproductive health care center, a political meeting, a theater performance, or a bookstore.”

The network includes private cameras and those installed by city agencies, like the Chicago Transit Authority. While many of the cameras are visible – like those with flashing blue lights affixed to street poles – countless others are unmarked.

City officials have been tight-lipped about how many cameras Chicago has in place, but no one has disputed that there are at least 10,000, including more than 4,000 installed by Chicago Public Schools and at least 1,000 at O’Hare International Airport.

In its report, the ACLU outlined three specific technologies that exceed the powers of ordinary human observation and increase the government’s power to watch the public: zoom, facial recognition capacity and automatic tracking.

“Chicago’s growing camera network is part of an expanding culture of surveillance in America. Combined with other government surveillance technologies, cameras can turn our lives into open books for government scrutiny,” the report says.

“Chicago’s camera network chills and deters lawful expressive activities protected by the First Amendment, like attending a political demonstration in the public way.”

ACLU officials said the city declined to give the group information on the cameras, including a tour of its operation center, statistics on crime and cost estimates. According to the report, surrounding communities have paid hefty sums for cameras; suburban Cicero has 30 cameras which cost $580,000.

The group said that money could be better spent on adding more police officers to Chicago streets, among other things. It added that there has been little research showing the cameras deter crime.

In addition to the moratorium, the agency recommended more public input, regular audits, rules and regulation on who can view the images, public notice before installing a camera and disclosure of any abuse. The report cites cases in other cities where “male camera operators have ogled women.”

Public complaints about the cameras haven’t been widespread and are generally limited to those who get caught for a minor offense or if the cameras fail to record a violent attack.

Authorities say cameras played a prominent role in several high-profile cases. Footage from a city bus camera helped persuade a suspected gang member to plead guilty to shooting a 16-year-old high school student in 2007. Cameras helped police determine that the 2009 death of a school board president was a suicide.

Chicago Police spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane said she had not seen the ACLU report.

“The Chicago Police Department is committed to safeguarding the civil liberties of city residents and visitors alike,” she said in a statement.

(Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Susan Weirich

    Only an idiot would expect “privacy” outside of their home these days. The ACLU is a useless group of people with nothing better to do than attack anything that rubs them the wrong way. Why doesn’t the ACLU help out those neighborhoods riddled with crime and gangs?

    • Drakeduck

      I’m a idiot!

    • David

      Read the Constitution, replying fools. There is no “right to privacy”. Geez, everybody’s a constitutional lawyer.

      • barneyg

        No its not in the constitution but you know what? I bet it fall under the Declaration of independence and something about inalienable rights. hhhhhmmmmmmm… And yes I want my inalienable right to privacy. You want to take it away? you best kill me first. cause you aint gettin without a fight.

      • C. Smith

        Spanky, the cameras aren’t searching you. At worst, they may be searching FOR you, but nothing in the Constitution protects you from that.

        David, the 10th Amendment argument here is void, because it only binds the Federal government. Since this is local government doing it, they’re the ones who’s ‘other rights’ are not to be denied or disparaged.

      • David Kramer

        No, you ARE THE IDIOT!
        Let me give you a component of the Constitution and then you can apologize!
        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

        But hey, you are probably a liberal Democrat, so we cannot expect you to understand, being that it is amazing you even know how to use a computer browser.

      • Spanky T Smackm

        YES there is a right to privacy, it comes under the clause that protects us from UNWARRANTED searches and seizures. These cameras represent an UNWARRANTED search, and no matter WHAT BUZZ WORDS you use to justify them, they have NO RIGHT to be there…..1984 Police State is alive and gaining strength with every MORON that sys stuff like this is legal.

    • Philip J. Wayne

      New York City….London have five times the cameras……is that illegal?

      • revolverBoy

        You sound like that moron in the article who thinks a camera can keep him safe

    • johnnychitown

      wow, that’s scary. i’m no commie lib, but holy jeebuz, what is wrong with you lady? does the slippery slope only imply to you that skiing conditions are less than fair? i think it’s group-thinkers like you that ought to hope that the ‘watchers’ are all angelic ’cause if they’re not, you and me and all of us are sunk.

      what’s the limit? {no need for a reply, just think about it.} what’s your limit? is there one?

      I think that cameras in the home are good to prevent child and spousal abuse, and for that matter illegal drug usage and distribution. add to that, poor health habits and not exercising. (sarcasm people)

      i can come up with a million and one excuses, the question is: how far will you let me go?

    • Trevor Patton

      Before Brown vs the Board of Education and a dozen other landmark supreme court cases only “an idiot” would expect a black person to be treated as equal to a white person. That didn’t mean it wasn’t right to fight for equality or that the ACLU’s efforts to fight discrimination were useless. Just because it’s hard to protect our rights doesn’t mean we should ever give up trying.

    • ra44mr2

      REALLY??!!! We cant expect to not have our every move watched and recorded? THAT is what you call freedom? Im all for cracking down on the gangs and all believe me id rather we had a hunting season on them. But now the lawful citizens are being treated as criminals when they have done nothing wrong.

      • bradrr

        no lawful citizens are complaining in the bad areas of Chicago where the majority of the cameras are placed…. only the criminals are complaining….

        if your home.. the living room blinds are cracked and you are participating in illegal activity and the police can see you through the blinds from a public street with a special camera…. you bettcha you are going to jail and the evidence will be used… already ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court; if that’s OK, by that measure… it is certainly “legal” to put a camera on a city street to catch a drug dealer or thief. If they are dumb enough to conduct their business in front of a blue light camera…. then Darwin wins again

      • C. Smith

        Do the police need a warrant to tail someone? Do the police need probable cause to place an officer on a street corner? If they can do it with people, they can do it with cameras. If peeking into someone’s window with an officer is legal, so is doing the same with a standard camera (special heat-sensing cameras and the like are different). No American has a fundamental right to not be followed.

      • DavosJavos

        Welcome to OmeriKa.


    • mike

      B.S.!!!! We have a right to privacy whereever we are! I DO agree with cameras being on public transit and in businesses but on every street is a little too much. I suggest all of you read “1984” by George Orwell before you get too gung-ho about the bluemlight cameras. Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither freedom nor security. Wev got along fine for years without Big Brother watching everything we do. THINK FOOLS!!!!

      • bradrr

        Mike… you do have an expectation of privacy wherever you go. keep your drugs in your pocket where they cant be seen.

        the cameras are on a public street that is maintained by pubic tax dollars. it is public property. the fact that you are there is not “private”.

        there is a clear line: public property– OK, private property— not OK (unless you have a warrant from a judge, which is obtained after probable cause is established)….

        oh ya if the private property can be seen from the public property evey with special cameras… still OK (not saying I like it) but the Supreme Court has already rulled on this issue. The ACLU is wasting time and money on this one

      • chosen

        You’re dead wrong. The constitution doesn’t guarantee you the right to life, liberty and the “pursuit of privacy”. 1984 is a fictional story, not something we’re being lead to. And this is the quote you’re were attempting to cite, ” Those who would give up essntial liberty to purchase a litte safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”. So…i ask you, exactly what “liberties” are you giving up because there’s a camera on the street?

    • Chav

      The ACLU is not a neighborhood watch group, they are about the only group willing to press for yours and everyone’s else’s civil rights, which our elected and unelected officials would onlty be too willing to suppress when given the chance.

      • chosen

        Everyone’s rights?? Including unborn children?

      • Titainiumman

        The ACLU is very selective when it comes to who’s rtight they want to protect.

    • opief

      You are sooo right

    • Art Fold

      Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

    • wddb

      No. Only an idiot would expect to live in the world of George Orwell’s “1984.”

    • S. S.

      You are an idiot to post this. THE ACLU fights for our privacy and 4th Ammend. rights. If they can ogle and track people in day to day enironments, then what will stop them from surveying you in your home. They have the technology and it has already started. Wake up sheeple!!

  • NotSoSmart

    I’d like to know the arrest conviction rate per dollar spent on the camera program. It’s just another indication that officials aren’t really concerned with the safety of the public, for these cameras do not deter crime. they are only of use following the commission of a crime. More officers on the streets is the better option, and while a uniform certainly can’t be there to stop all crimes, the odds are far better than that of a fixed object.

    • bradrr

      Cost effective?
      Don’t know the dollar figure of conviction/camera verses the conviction/police officer….. then again… whats the life of your loved one worth if they just happen to be a rookie on the CPD patrolling a bad area? I am sure Chicago wastes a lot of money (goes to politicians)… the cameras are a drop in the bucket…

      What is the amount of good the ACLU does v.s. the amount of public dollars spent to fight cases? Don’t get me wrong…. I am all FOR the ACLU, they do alot of good work…. however, cases like this one, waste alot of time and money.

    • Philip J. Wayne

      Not ao smart….guess you really aren’t ….putting hundreds of new policeman on the street would run in the millions….let’s raise your taxes so we can do that?

      • NotSoSmart

        You are the one lacking any intelligence, as the CPD is already understaffed by about 2000 officers. I hear the mayoral candidates are spouting about that they would increase the numbers of officers, adding more uniforms to crime ridden neighborhoods. How many millions are being spent on these cameras that often times don’t work, more often aren’t being properly monitored and are absolutely of no use in preventing crime. They make you feel safer though, just ask Hizzoner.

        Case in point, the recent attempt at an armored car heist occurred directly below a POD. That’s deterrent for ya.

  • NotSoSmart

    Over 181,000 arrests in 2009 alone with about 11,500 CPD uniforms. Well over 10,000 cameras and a mere 4,500 arrests in over 4 years. You do the math.

    • bradrr

      I know where the cameras on the stoplights in my hometown. I can say with certainty that it is a deterrent for me when the light is yellow… I don’t push that light. I don’t want a ticket in the mail.
      Just like a patrolling police officer… their presence is known. The drug dealers and thieves know they stand a higher chance of getting caught with the lights around. Chicago is mainly putting the cameras in higher crime areas… probably areas that police officers (who want to go home to their wives after their shift) are reluctant to patrol due to their safety.
      Did the ACLU consult the law-abiding citizens who are affected by the cameras before they got the lawyers involved costing the city much more money than the cameras to begin with? Nope…

      • Trevor Patton

        It would also be an effective deterrent to give the police the power to simply search whoever they want whenever they want, or to let them arrest and question anybody without reason.
        That would certainly decrease crime, but we recognize that the police are liable to abuse these powers and so we don’t just give them a blank check to do as they wish.
        Similarly it is a mistake to give the police the power to surveil tens of thousands of people without an order from a judge. Just as we require a court order to allow officers of the law to listen into our phone conversations we should require a court order for surveillance. Especially if that surveillance could allow them to use zoom, facial recognition, and automatic tracking.
        That they refuse to make public incidents of abuse should tell you that those incidents are serious.

      • bradrr

        If there is a “serious incident” the people involved should be under investigation/pending investigation and until convicted/fired that information should be kept private. Once the matter is resolved the information is legally available under the ‘freedom of information act’. something the ACLU hasn’t either checked or there isn’t enough ‘juicy info’ to publicize…

      • NotSoSmart

        Red light cameras are a another animal that needs to be put to sleep. Revenue generation at it’s finest. The intent according to politicians was to reduce accidents, increasing the safety of the public. It has failed miserably, the red light cameras have not reduced accidents, and while a skewed study only tracked reduced fatalities where red light cameras were installed, they omitted the fact that the overall number of accidents hadn’t decreased as well. This therefore leads to one logical conclusion that there were other forces in play such as side impact airbags and increased use of seatbelts.

        With your attitude toward slamming on the brakes at the yellow light, you are more likely to be involved in an accident. A better course of action would be to remove the cameras and increase the length of the yellow light.

      • bradrr

        first of all I don’t “slam on the brakes for anything” I said, ” I don’t push the light” … been driving for 40+ years without an accident. and isn’t it the law to be prepared to stop on a yellow and not be going through the red? If you make the yellow “longer…” it would encourage people to run it thinking they have time. The real solution would be to have a flashing light on the red side letting them know that it is about to turn green, like in other countries. They don’t run yellows near as much there.

        A revenue issue… you say….
        If you insist on speeding through areas with speed camera and running red lights and get tickets for it, its your own damn fault… and I am happy for it because that means they don’t end up raising my property taxes to pay for the mayors new cherry desk.

        Failed miserably?
        where do you get your facts? not from the DOT… but then again you probably believe that driving faster and without seatbelts is safer as well.

      • NotSoSmart

        When most of the tickets issued are for not making a complete stop in a right turn lane, then yes it is more of a revenue generator than an implement of enhanced safety. If the cameras have not decreased the total number of accidents, then they have done nothing to increase safety.

        Your comment about your property taxes and cherry desks only proves my point about the revenue. Though, I will give you credit in that your flashing light idea is a better option than cameras.

      • NotSoSmart
  • Make'em Stop

    Tho only people bothered by Crime Cameras, are criminals. If you’re not doing anything wrong, why do you care if someone is watching you.

    • revolverBoy

      If you are not doing anything wrong in your house, why do you care if someone is watching you?

      • Heath Long

        Dude, please tell me you are kidding. Please. If you want to be watched…be watched. But your sick desire should have nothing to do with me. Sign up for a monitoring service, but leave me out of it. Because you are not sure that you can be a good person without the hand of the state up your butt to work you like a puppet does not make treating the rest of us according to your pathetic standards moral.

    • barneyg

      I care because I don’t want to be watched, judged and indicted for doing something completely innocent, but on camera looks guilty. Thought crimes are next. Im telling you.

    • CalDre

      Because maybe the “something wrong” you are doing is attending a political rally, attending a religious meeting, participating in a protest, or a myriad of other things which should NOT be wrong, but which many governments treat as wrong.

      All you gullible government bootlickers, go move to Communist China, you wil feel right at home there.

      • matt

        hey “crimekiller” you are so full of it. it is people like you that make these invasions of privacy possible. it is not “the fault of the criminals” that the cameras are all over the place… we had criminals all over this city before the cameras went up and we still do. these things are NOT a deterent to criminals, they are a means of control placed on regular people whom, last time i checked, were assured that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy in that pesky 4th amendment. if you don’t like the constitution… move. those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve niether!! grow up.

      • crimekiller

        CalDre, you wouldn’t have this problem with thew cameras if there wasn’t such a high crime problem. You want to whine and cry, do it to the criminals who bring this upon society. It’s their fault those cameras are all over the place.

      • Heath Long

        @CalDre – you are the first person to “get it”. This is all about the definition of right and wrong. Today, those who support the camera society (gag) are fine by the current definitions. Tomorrow, that could change…and they may not agree with that change. Then what? What if going to church becomes a crime? Roll your eyes because it sounds extreme, but this type of thing happens all of the time in societies. Every abdication of liberty is a guarantee that something like that could happen. A free society would laugh at someone telling them that they cannot attend church. A monitored society would have no choice but to comply or face the punishment. You know, we cannot film police without being sent to jail in most cases…but that same principle does not apply to us regular folks. We are supposed to be splayed out for the police at all times. Supposedly, they work for us, but it is we who are to remain in the prone position. Why are so many so willing to comply, no matter what the state says? WAKE UP. I am not a criminal, so stop treating me like one. Have some self esteem and do not let yourself be treated like one either. Don’t want to? Do you like being treated like cattle? Fine. But do not impose your lack of self esteem on me.

  • J Moore

    Terminate the ACLU. What a pompous bunch. Have they ever done anything good for this country?

    • fastfwd

      Why dont these idoits go after the TSA ??

    • Titainiumman

      How right you are,The godless ACLU is a threat to american freedoms

    • Trevor Patton

      1925 Gitlow v. New York Our first Supreme Court landmark. Though upholding the defendant’s conviction for distributing his call to overthrow the government, the Court held, for the first time, that the Fourteenth Amendment “incorporates” the free speech clause of the First Amendment and is, therefore, applicable to the states.

      1925 Gitlow v. New York Our first Supreme Court landmark. Though upholding the defendant’s conviction for distributing his call to overthrow the government, the Court held, for the first time, that the Fourteenth Amendment “incorporates” the free speech clause of the First Amendment and is, therefore, applicable to the states.

      1941 Edwards v. California In this major victory for poor people’s right to travel from one state to another, the Court struck down an “anti- Okie” law that made it a crime to transport indigents into California.

      1948 Shelley v. Kraemer An important civil rights decision that invalidated restrictive covenants — contractual agreements between white homeowners in a residential area barring the sale of houses to black people.

      1954 Brown v. Board of Education In perhaps the most far-reaching decision of this century, the Court declared racially segregated schools unconstitutional and overruled the “separate but equal” doctrine announced in its infamous 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson.

      1974 U.S. v. Nixon This test of Presidential power involved Nixon’s effort to withhold crucial Watergate tapes from Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski. In the only amicus brief filed, the ACLU argued: “There is no proposition more dangerous to the health of a constitutional democracy than the notion that an elected head of state is above the law and beyond the reach of judicial review.” The Court agreed and ordered the tapes handed over.

      And many many more landmark supreme court rulings expanding freedom for millions of Americans. How can you say, “have they ever done anything good for this country?” when they have been integral in ending segregation, discrimination, and terrible abuses of power by the government?

    • Philip J. Wayne

      I have never been a supporter of ACLU…..I think the cameras are a deterent….I don’t particularly like them however…we live in dangerous times.

      • barneyg

        Most of the danger is from the people who claim to be protecting you. The government in all forms.

  • mike

    It’s just a matter of time, cameras will be in your bed room. If not at least at your front door.

  • Crosscut

    Chicago police should be allowed to perform neighborhood patrols in full combat gear llike we see our troops doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Cassius

      Crosscut, WOW! That is by far the dumbest comment I have ever seen. This is not Afghanistan or Iraq, not even close, we shouldnt be there anyway, but I dont see nightly beheading’s in Chigaco, or gruesome stoning, or women torchered for um showing their face, I could go on but I will stop. Furthermore this militarization of the Police is what has caused so much crime, what happened to Andy Griffith? Why for 100 years had police used .38 with 6 bullets but now use 9mm with 15 to 16 bullets? Why do they need shotguns and AR-15’s (which just so you know the M4 is used by our military which is the same caliber as the AR-15 so you kinda already got your wish, since they are in bullet proof vests and carrying the same weapons our soldiers do with approximately 1/4 the training) When you create an entire industry that can allow a poor person to become rich very fast your going to have crime, im talking of course of the War on Drugs. When you make it all illegal and have no way to curb demand or curb supply, you put the drugs in criminal hands instead of decent people who own things like liquor stors. So if someone knows they are going to go to jail if snitched on for dealing drugs, someone’s gonna die cuz they would go to jail anyway if someone snitched. And when you give the land to criminals they will fight over territory and kill each other, because its not true property rights, its whosever on the corner at the time.

      The fact is our Police are already completely militarized and for no reason. Statistics show that an innocent person is more likely to be killed by cop than by a terrorist, and im not talking righteous shoots by cops im talking incidents. Btw 1995-2005 approximately 3,200 people died in the U.S. by terrorist, which was pretty much all in one day. During that same period 3,900 people were killed by U.S. Cops and you want to give them more guns? How come in England they walk around with botuns and no guns but have a lower crime rate? And dont give the b.s. about its a cultural thing, its a law thing. When you make tons of victimless behavior crimes, your going to have lots of criminals.

      • Ziggie

        I think it is a good idea for the cops should show at a crime scene with full combat gear, The might stab themselves with their ball-point-pens when they are filling out their useless reports.

      • barneyg

        Your right its not Afghanistan or Iraq. But there are places here in the US that are just as bad. So yes let them go into those areas in full gear. East St. Louis. parts of Montgomery Alabama. Yes I have been in these areas and I have been to Iraq and Kuwait. Ill take Iraq or Kuwait. You know who the enemy is there. Here the only real enemy I know for sure and can easily point out is our government.

    • Truth

      More murders in Chicago each year, than the total amount of soldiers wounded/killed in Afghanistan.

      • Damon F.

        Truth or twoof? There were 435 homicides in Chicago in 2010. 2010 casualties in Afghanistan include 711 deaths and at least 3600 wounded.

  • G

    The fact that any “incidents of misuse” of the system is confidential should tell you something.

    • Art Fold

      Bingo! Who is watching the watchers? It is very easy to see how a tyranical government could use these cameras against the citizenry.

  • big bro

    Susan, the downfall of america thanks for your continued support of big brother

    • Philip J. Wayne

      And you will be the first one to yell if a crime is missed related to you.

      • revolverBoy

        Let him yell then. Anyone who values their safety over their freedom deserves, and will get, neither.

        Even in the totalitarian superstate of your dreams, such as China, the people are neither safe nor free; but the government certainly does make a steady profit recycling the organs of political dissidents. As a lover of police-state tyranny, you should look into immigrating to China

  • mitch

    nice to see the ACLU actually spending money and time on something important rather than trying to keep a teacher from having a bible on their desk, or tell us what marriage is.

    • revolverBoy

      Too bad that you do not see how these things are related. Each has to do with liberty, but obviously you enjoy some aspects of the police state (Big Brother video suveillance grid, $2 trillion military industrial complex) and dislike others that go against your religious agenda (barring of prayer in the classroom,etc.).

      Maybe we should agree that all police-state measures are bad for our constitutional, freedom-loving principles, hmmmm?

      • MorganGray

        Really, revolverBoy? Just having a Bible on the desk equates with prayer in the classroom?
        I guess that means having a copy of Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto in the library equates to teaching Nazism or Communism in the school, huh? Or Huck Finn teaches racism (oh, wait… the ACLU says it does).
        Gee, guess we better start up the bonfire, and get ready to start burning all those banned books.

  • mitch

    Did you know that its a crime in illinois to record police officers in public ( you can go to jail for 15 years). Seems to be a bit of a double standard??!!

    read about the double standard here

  • joe soon

    be a good little sheeple

    go to work, pay taxes, smile for the camera so i can have my 1million dollar city pension while i work for the city and own a business and have a mailing address in wisconsin so i do not have to pay taxes you do.

    be a good little sheeple

  • Bob

    It is amazing how many people advocate this. Does anyone realize that it would take 10,000 people to monitor 10,000 cameras? There is NO chance of ‘authorities responding more quickly to crime’ . Any criminal would be aware of these cameras and would merely cover his face. It’s just another authoritarian strategy. People in Illinois are such followers that they don’t even comprehend that their state can’t some $13 billion deficit so they need to raise taxes, but the sure have enough money for 10,000 cameras. One would have to be a complete idiot to live in this state.

    • the Watcher


      People in Illinois are not “such followers.” The political reality is that with the installation of the cameras comes profits for well-connected companies and/or their owners. With the installation of the cameras comes not only “big Brother” to watch us, but the opportunity to allow the Hereditary Democratic administration of Chicago to institute absolute surveylance of the citizens.

      Remember, Chicago is a Democrat Stronghold with approx 50% of all the votes IN THE STATE. Daley, his successors and aldermen are not to be denied absolute power!

      Don’t be hard on illinoisans. There are those of us who understand personal freedoms … we are just in the voting minority.


      • theWatcher


        I own a small business with a very specific work force that is almost impossible to transplant and almost as impossible to re-constitute before the company would run out of cash if it moved elsewhere.

        I have no family left — I’m the sole survivor. No siblings or cousins. The only thing holding me here is the fact that moving would devistate 20 families and be a 80% chance of failure if I moved with no workers ready to do the jobs.

        Plus, I retire in 2 years. THEN it’s adios, Illinois .. hello nicer climate.

      • bob

        You are very hard up for a state to live in. I hope that you are at least in a secure job situation and make a lot of money. Illinois government will need you. I understand that leaving is very difficult once you have establish friends/profession/family. However, there is still a “quality of life” measure that need to be addressed. I have spent a fair amount of time several major US cities. Chicago is dead last on my list of places to live. Even the whether sucks in Chicago.

        Perhaps, you exploring the possibility of leaving? It’s going to much worse before it gets better

  • Steven NYC

    If the savages of Chicago didn’t act as such, there wouldn’t be all those cameras. End of story. If the ACLU wants the cameras gone, then tell them to make all the criminals go away or start behaving like law-abiding citizens. Can’t do that? Oh well, smile for the camera.

    • Bob

      Do you really think that a camera will save you from those “savages”?

      • Schmed

        No, a nice Colt 1911 .45 ACP will, but good luck with that drunk Irish gangster of a mayor.

  • Mike

    This is the first time I have agreed with the ACLU.
    Do Chicagoans not remember “Big Brother Is Watching You”? Surveilllance on the street is how it starts, but not how it ends.
    Go ACLU!

    • tj


      I was gonna post exactly what you wrote. I just read a study that red light cameras have not decreased the amount of accidents at an intersection. Towns and municipalities are have or considered suspending the use of the cameras. One such example is in Schaumburg right outside the mall.

      And where’s the “government transparency?” They won’t release any statistics on the program?

      It’s pretty telling what the state of this city is in when the ACLU is finding fault with one of the most liberal progressive areas in the country

    • Trevor Patton

      You don’t agree with Brown vs the Board of Education? How about Tinker vs Des Moines? If you’re pro free speech then you should love the ACLU, and I can’t imagine you’re anti Big Brother and anti free speech.

  • Jake

    What makes private sector cameras any different? Just wait until facial recognition software watches you by a pack of Marlboros at Seven11 and your health insurance company raises your rates. Or even worse you start getting spam from Phillip-Morris. The fact is these cameras do so much more than just fight crime. They’ve become an integral tool in all aspects of public service.

    F.Y.I. “..anonymous in public places” is an oxymoron.

  • bob again

    It’s going to be hilarious if the economy stays down and people continue to leave Illinois. Right now Illinois is the #2 state for losing population. Cameras, will be a very valid tool for a cash-strapped state. What better way of running licenses plates to collect fines, taxes, fees, permits and parking easements? What would be the end result of this misuse of authoritarian equipment (cameras, digital reading, digital data storage, facial recognition, etc)? More people leaving! I think Chicago/Illinois is more of a foreign country where the people just aren’t quite as developed.

    • Rickylee

      I left! I’m trying to my brother and his family to leave too. The state is a mess.

    • Drakeduck

      I spent some time in denver, loved it. My job is iffy. When my job is gone I’m gone!.

      My dad says Chicago is located right next to hell.

  • proriter

    It’s sad that the American people have become so craven, dispirited and weak that not only do they invite totalitarian monitoring of their habits, but actually defend the police state when it’s questioned.

    • Not

      Gee that’s funny, this “police state” with cameras you speak of doesn’t seem to exist very much in places where savage criminals aren’t running rampant.

      You want to cry about the cameras, you go to the criminals and slap them and tell them to behave. After they all become good little boys and girls, the cameras won’t be needed and you’ll be happy. No get to it.

      • bob

        Explain to me, as if I’m in the sixth grade, how cameras will be a deterrent of crime!

        Is there 10,000 officers sitting watching these cameras 24/7?

        Will Chicago ban the head covers that covers one’ face?

        Will a robber that sees a camera, not rob somewhere else that doesn’t have a camera?

        Do these cameras promote a sense of security resulting in people letting their guard down?

        I just amazed!

      • revolverBoy

        Are you saying that we should sacrifice all of our liberties on the altar of government, if the government offers in return to build a big enough police-state to catch and punish a few criminals? I know you believe government can protect you (even though this has been proven untrue time and time again) as well as turn water into wine, and iron into gold.

        If you are so fearful of crime that you cannot rely on yourself to defend yourself against it, then why don’t you hire an armed security guard to escort you everywhere you go? And leave the rest of us out of the paranoid fears that governs your life and keeps you up at night. Try curling up with a survelliance camera, and perhaps it will help you dream some dreams of safety

  • Drew

    No cameras no abuse of authority. Simple.

  • Brian

    One Nation Under Surveillance

  • Stan

    I live in downtown Chicago and have 2 children.

    I called the city and asked to have one put on our corner. No luck. But I plan to keep trying.

    • bob

      Maybe you’ll get your camera. Maybe someday you have to abruptly have jerk one of your kids from traffic. This would result in a crying irate child (I have kids, I know) . A concerned citizen (Chicago is full of them) sees this as abuse and call the cops. The camera’s recording is only two dimensional so a jerk appears to be a hit. You get your kids taken from you and are arrested for assault. It creates friction on you marriage resulting in a divorce. You are only allowed to see your kids with supervision.

      Now consider what I just described and then consider the likelihood of a camera discouraging a crime. You are easy to find/catch a criminal is difficult to find/catch. The likelihood is probably just about the same for both scenarios.

  • Richard

    The ACLU is looking for a REAL issue on which to mount a legal challenge to the existence of the cameras simply because they know that the US Supreme Court has ruled consistently that there is no legally “reasonable expectation of privacy” in a public place (with some narrow exceptions.) The sheer number of the cameras definitely gives it a Big Brother feel, but making people uncomfortable is not a Fourth Amendment violation.

  • Stashu

    We can actually see who is and is not working for their city paychecks.

  • TheCarpathian

    When this country was founded, there was an attutude of individual sovereignty suitable for the advocates of John Stuart Mill. Each of us was free of governmental oversight unless our actions threatened another citizen.

    The right to privacy was expected and understood to be the norm.

    We have, through supreme court decisions as well as bullying from government, transformed into a “total surveylance society” where individual privacy is considered suspect and the expectation is that we are under surveylance 100% of the time.

    It is only a matter of time before some degenerate judge authorizes the warrantless use of thermal cameras thatcan see through walls to guarantee that we are being good citizens behind our closed doors.

    Remember the common mantra of today: If you’re not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to hide. This abomination of thought pre-supposes the government’s absolute right to 24/7 control ofour lives. Watching the correct television channel? Reading the right books? Praying to a diety not on the authorized list?

    I weep for my country — and fear my government. And please don’t say that we can vote “them”out. A corrupt political party will steal any election. After all, if every voter in Chicago who could walk into a polling place voted Republican, the Democrats would still win: their legionsof dead voters would still outnumber the living.

    Kind of like Tolkien’s “Army of the Dead.”

    ’nuff said

  • bradrr

    Cost effective?
    Don’t know the dollar figure of conviction/camera verses the conviction/police officer….. then again… whats the life of your loved one worth if they just happen to be a rookie on the CPD patrolling a bad area? I am sure Chicago wastes a lot of money (goes to politicians)… the cameras are a drop in the bucket…

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