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Illinois cop caught dozing in patrol car tells student ‘it’s now illegal’ to record officers

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An Illinois student spotted a police officer apparently napping in his patrol car and began recording cell phone video.

Matt Fedora, a student at Southern Illinois University, said the Carbondale police officer appeared to be sleeping behind the wheel of his cruiser for nearly three hours in a church parking lot.

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After driving past the dozing cop several times, the student said he stopped and recorded cell phone video.

The Carbondale police officer noticed the student, Matt Fedora, and denied he was sleeping.

The officer became aware that he was being watched and rolled down his window.

“What’s up, bud?” the officer says in the video.

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Fedora accused him of sleeping in the patrol car and said he was upset because his home had been burglarized a week earlier and $4,000 in electronics were stolen.

The officer denied sleeping, and Fedora accused him of lying.

“If you keep lying, I’m going to post this on Youtube,” says Fedora, who ended up posting the video on his Facebook page.

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“Oh, so you’re recording?” the officer says, and student admits that he is. “Are you aware that it’s now illegal to record a police officer in public?”

It’s actually not illegal to record police officers performing their duties in public.

“It’s perfectly legal to video (record) people in public, specifically police officers,” said Jane Adams, a Carbondale city councilwoman.

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She can’t be certain whether the officer, who has not been identified, was sleeping while on duty, but she said the incident shows police need better training to uphold citizens’ rights.

Carbondale’s interim police chief said the department would investigate the incident.

“We don’t condone, nor will we tolerate, any type of workplace misconduct,” said interim Chief Jeff Grubbs.

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The Illinois Supreme Court struck down a previously passed law in March that legally barred the recording of conversations without the consent of all parties – which essentially prohibited recordings of police encounters without the officer’s permission.

But a new bill, sponsored by a pair of Democratic lawmakers, was passed in December to clarify state law on the recordings of private conversations.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law Dec. 31 requiring all parties involved in a private conversation to consent to being recorded.

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However, the new law does not prohibit recordings made in public.

“On-duty police officers have no reasonable expectation of privacy in their conversations in public places,” the Illinois chapter of the ACLU said in a statement.

The new law is not without its critics.

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Liberals warn that the legislation expands police authority to eavesdrop on conversations, and conservatives complain that it doesn’t offer enough clarification on the use of police body cameras.

Watch video of the incident posted online by Photography Is Not A Crime:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Making things worse’: National Farmer’s Union chief unloads on Trump in blistering statement on trade war

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Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union, delivered a blistering rebuke to President Donald Trump after he responded to new tariffs from China by issuing a purported "order" telling American companies to look for alternative places to manufacture their goods.

In an official statement, Johnson pointed out that farmers so far have felt the brunt of the president's trade war, as China has slapped heavy tariffs on key agricultural products such as soybeans.

He also crushed the president for failing to make any progress on reopening the Chinese market to American goods.

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Doctors treat Ruth Bader Ginsburg for tumor on her pancreas: SCOTUS spokesperson

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week had underwent a procedure to treat a tumor from her pancreas, a court spokesperson tells Washington Post reporter Robert Barnes.

According to the Court, "the tumor was treated definitively" with radiation "and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body."

The 86-year-old Ginsburg late last year underwent surgery to treat lung cancer and she returned to the bench this past February.

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REVEALED: Trump associate Felix Sater gave Osama bin Laden’s phone numbers to the feds

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The Russian businessman Felix Sater has been linked to Trump family enterprises for years. He was central to the effort to bring Trump Tower to Moscow. He also worked on the Trump SoHo condominium hotel in the mid-aughts.

During that time, Sater also worked as an informant for the FBI and CIA and aided prosecutors on various cases. He started working with the FBI in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme, reports the Wall Street Journal.

That's been previously reported. But what the WSJ found is that a letter just unsealed from the government praises Sater for being an especially good collaborator.

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