Woman Who Recorded Cops Acquitted Of Felony Eavesdropping

CHICAGO (STMW) – A former stripper, who secretly recorded two Chicago Police Internal Affairs investigators while filing a sexual harassment complaint against another officer was acquitted on eavesdropping charges Wednesday.

“I’m feeling a lot better now,” a smiling Tiawanda Moore said after a Cook County jury returned the verdict in a little over an hour.

The 20-year-old Indiana woman admitted she taped the officers on her Blackberry in August of last year. But she said she only did it because the investigators were coaxing her to not go forward with her complaint.

“I wanted him to be fired,” Moore testified of the cop she alleges fondled her and gave her his phone number during a domestic battery call at the South Side residence she sometimes shares with her boyfriend.

Moore said she didn’t know about the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, which prohibits the recording of private or public conversations without the consent of all parties. Even so, Moore’s attorney, Robert Johnson, said his client was protected under an exemption to the statute that allows such recordings if someone believes a crime is being committed or is about to be committed.

The Internal Affairs officers were “stalling, intimidating and bullying her,” Johnson said. The recording, which was played in court during the one-day trial, proved it, Johnson said.

Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Jo Murtaugh told jurors, “The content of the tape is not the issue. The issue is that the words were taped.”

But Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said the verdict “reflects a repudiation of the eavesdropping law in Illinois. Clearly, the public believes that individuals should be able to record police engaged in their public duties, in a public space in an audible voice.”

The ACLU has challenged the eavesdropping law in federal court.

Johnson said the findings in Moore’s sexual harassment allegations were under protective order and have not been released.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Chivi

    This law was obviously made to protect those that are supposed to uphold the law. This is one of the stupedest laws I have ever heard of. How else are you supposed to catch people harassing you especially if they are supposed to protect the public. Disgusting!!!

  • Centurion

    Of course they dropped the charges…you have 2 low life cops trying to intimidate a woman to drop charges of harassment against one of their buddies.

  • Tammy Burns

    I can’t believe the jury didn’t uphold the law. This law is a very important part of our legal system. If the police were smart, they would check everyone prior to being interviewed for contraband, including cellphones. The police can’t eavesdrop without a court order, so why should anyone else? The ACLU is such a garbage organization, they never EVER support law enforcement!!!

  • Just Axin

    Tammy- You’re right, the law is important to our system because it is a check and balance to make sure that abuse is minimized. If a neighbor is threatening me, I should be able to record him so the police have proof for the arrest. If a woman gets pulled over (public street, no expectation of privacy) she should be able to record what occurs for her protection. Most cops are professionals, so they should not worry. In a perfect world, where cops never lie, cheat, steal, etc. we would not need this. I think we’re the only state that doesn’t allow this.

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