Woman acquitted of eavesdropping charges for recording cops sues city
BY MICHAEL LANSU Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org January 14, 2012 12:12AM
Tiawanda Moore, 20, answers a reporter's question after a court hearing at the Cook County Courts Building, 2650 S. California Ave., Wednesday, August 24, 2011, in Chicago. Moore was found not guilty of eavesdropping when she audio-recorded Chicago Police internal affairs officers during an interview stemming from a charge she filed against police officers in 2010. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: February 16, 2012 8:28AM
A woman found not guilty of secretly recording Chicago Police officers who allegedly tried to discourage her from filing a complaint against an officer who groped her filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the city and the officers.
Tiawanda Moore, 21, claims Chicago Police responded to her home for a domestic dispute and one of the officers groped her breasts and buttocks while interviewing her in a bedroom, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court.
Before leaving the bedroom, the suit claims the officer wrote his home phone number on a piece of paper and told Moore to call him because they should “hook up.”
The suit claims Moore called police to report the officer’s misconduct, and met with a lieutenant and an Internal Affairs Division officer, who discouraged her from filing a complaint.
Moore began secretly recording her conversation with the lieutenant and IAD officer on her Blackberry, according to the suit. Police then arrested her and charged her with violating the Illinois Eavesdropping Statute, which prevents people from secretly recording conversations.
“I wanted him to be fired,” Moore testified of the cop she said fondled her. Moore said she didn’t know about the eavesdropping law.
The suit claims the statute specifically exempts persons who recorded “under reasonable suspicion that another party to the conversation is committing, is about to commit . . . a criminal offense against the person . . . and there is reason to believe that evidence of the criminal offense may be obtained by the recording.”
The suit claims that by preventing Moore from leaving the interview room and attempting to prevent her from filing a complaint, they were committing crimes of unlawful restraint, official misconduct and attempting to commit the crime of obstruction of justice.
Moore spent more than two weeks in Cook County Jail and spent a year fighting the charges, according to the suit. She was found not guilty on Aug. 25. The three-count suit claims unreasonable seizure, false arrest and malicious prosecution.