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Politician Says Filming Cops Should Be Illegal Within 20′ if There’s No Permission

fcpolitician

Jamie Ross | Courthouse News Service

PHOENIX (CN) – Recording police officers without their permission or from closer than 20 feet will be illegal in Arizona if a Republican state senator’s bill becomes law.

Senate Bill 1054 , by state Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Scottsdale, would make offense a misdemeanor if the offender continues the recording after a verbal warning or has previously been convicted of violating the law.

The bill specifies that it is “unlawful for a person to knowingly make a video recording of law enforcement activity, including the handling of an emotionally disturbed person, if the person making the video recording does not have the permission of a law enforcement officer and is within 20 feet of where the law enforcement activity is occurring.”

If the incident occurs in a private residence, the recorder must film from an “adjacent room or area” unless the officer finds that person is interfering “or that it is not safe to be in the area and orders the person to stop recording or to leave the area.”

Will Gaona, policy director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, told Courthouse News that Kavanagh’s bill not only poses constitutional questions, but is “just a bad idea.”

“People have a First Amendment right to record law enforcement actions that take place in the public,” Gaona said. “You start to restrict people’s ability to do so, and you start to restrict their right.”

The ACLU launched a phone app in November – Mobile Justice – to allow people to record law enforcement activity and submit videos for review by the ACLU for civil rights violations.

“We put out the app to encourage people to record the police in situations they think are concerning,” Gaona said. “In what we’ve received thus far from the app, there’s no indication that any of the recordings have interfered with police activity.”

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Filming Cops
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Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Tony Velez

    supreme court decision will overrule this bogus bill, fuck this ignorant idiot, he just trying to protect bad cops from being caught in wrongdoings against citizens

    • Mark Evan Wilson

      I hope you are right.

      • Tony Velez

        agreed, i hope the supreme court sides with citizens if this comes up

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  • Reigel Fetterman

    Supreme Court has already ruled on this and that ANY cop can be videoed when out in publc

  • Nunya

    Will not get passed.

  • smrnda

    Expected – now that people recording cops are exposing the truth of police brutality, corruption, racism and incompetence, politicians want to shut it down so that the police can continue their assault on the public.