This is Why We’re Allowed to Record Police

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Documentary on Chris Drew to Screen in West Town

The documentary on Chris Drew’s fight to challenge Illinois eavesdropping laws will be shown this Satirday, August 15 at 7PM at Defibrillator, 1463 W Chicago Avenue in West Town.

ChrisDrew OnScreenChris Drew set out to fight laws restricting art sales, but ended up challenging Illinois’ eavesdropping law. In December 2009, Drew was arrested for selling art on State Street outside Macy’s. He had expected to be arrested.  He had asked Logan Square-based photojournalist Nancy Bechtol to record him selling art at various times and locations throughout the Loop. Her camera was rolling when the police approached and arrested Chris Drew that December day in 2009. However, by the time he was charged, there was no mention of selling art in a restricted area.  The police had found a portable audio tape recorder in Chris’ pocket and charged him with a Class I eavesdropping felony!

Bechtol’s recording of Chris Drew’s arrest became key to the defense strategy, though it was never used in court.  The tapes that Bechtol compiled as Chris sold art and interacted with customers throughout the Loop became the basis of this documentary. When the film premiered at Logan Theater in Fall 2014, LoganSquare.TV spoke with Nancy Bechtol about working with Chris Drew and making this film. You can watch that story here:

For more information about Saturday’s screening of Free Speech and the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, call Joseph Ravens at 773.609.1137.