New Arizona Bill Bans the close Quarter Recording of Officers
House Bill 2319 makes it illegal for anyone within 8 feet of law enforcement activity to record police...
A new bill signed by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will make close-range recordings of police illegal. Sponsored by John Kavanagh, House Bill 2319 makes it an offense for anyone within 8 feet of law enforcement activity to record police. Those who break the law can face misdemeanor charges with the condition that they have been verbally warned.
Those at the center of interaction with police can record. Those standing in enclosed structures, on private property where police activity occurs, and occupants of a vehicle stopped by police will also be able to record as long as the recording and actions associated do not interfere with police actions. The law will be in effect starting on September 24th.
In his op-ed, John Kavanagh stated the bill was meant to protect officers from potential harm or distraction outside of the indictment they were already involved in. The bill was initially proposed with a 15-foot restriction which was obviously later shed down to 8 feet.
Many First Amendment Experts oppose the bill as they claim it is unconstitutional at its core, lacks specificity, and also grants police too much discretion. Many organizations have since signed letters opposing the bill.
In many cases, videos taken of police by bystanders have become commonplace. At times, the aid of the video in exposing police misconduct. One specific example is the bystander recording of Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin who was filmed killing George Floyd and eventually convicted for his murder.