ILLINOIS (KFVS) - An Illinois representative is sponsoring a bill to address a trend that has adults and teenagers videotaping staged assaults and then uploading them to social media accounts.
The bill would add the misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct if the intent of the filming is to promote or condone illegal violence.
"The bill is designed to discourage people from uploading a video to YouTube or other social networking websites with the intent to promote or condone the crimes being committed," Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) said. "We're addressing organized gang-related fights, staged one-on-one fights, and the 'knockout game.' If someone has evidence of these crimes on video, and fail to provide a law enforcement agency with that video upon request, under this bill they could possibly face a disorderly conduct charge."
Bryant said she had been aware of the problem with both adults and youths staging fights and filming planned assaults on unassuming victims for a while now. However, it hit home recently when cell phone video of a fight between Murphysboro middle schoolers was uploaded to social media.
"We saw in my hometown of Murphysboro several students standing around laughing and filming some pretty violent behavior in an after school fight," she said.
She continued, "Instead of going to get help, instead of giving the video to the police as evidence of a crime, the bystanders uploaded the videos to their social media accounts."
Bryant said the main point of HB 4419 is to address this type of violence and keep minors from repeating the mistakes they see adults make.
She said protecting victims' rights in situations like these is equally as important.