(NewsGlobal.com)- A preliminary injunction was issued last Friday by U.S. District Judge John Tuchi prohibiting the execution of a new Arizona legislation law.
Filming police when they are engaged in “law enforcement activities” on public roadways from closer than eight feet or whenever an officer commands them to stop is against the law under an Arizona law set to go into effect on September 24.
According to the law, this work includes making arrests, interrogating people who seem suspect, and dealing with mentally disturbed people.
Republican state representative John Kavanagh, the bill’s sponsor, hailed it as an improvement to police safety. He argued that to protect cops from harm, limiting where the public might video law enforcement action was essential.
According to Rep. Kavanagh, nobody approaches a cop when interviewing a suspicious individual or making an arrest and stands one or two steps away. You’re asking for trouble, according to common sense. Vehicle and enclosed structure occupants on private property are given various exceptions under his measure. As long as they are not in the process of being detained or searched, they are allowed to film.
Additionally, unless an officer decides that the recording is interfering with “law enforcement activity” or the environment is deemed unsafe for civilians, anyone in a car that has been stopped by police or is being questioned is also allowed to record the conversation.
Kavanagh’s bill initially prohibited recording within 15 feet, but he later altered it to comply with a 2000 United States Supreme Court ruling that permitted eight-foot buffer zones between demonstrators and abortion clinic patients.
Citizen video has played a crucial role in exposing abuses of power by police, such as New York Officer Daniel Pantelo’s use of a chokehold that resulted in Eric Garner’s death. It also played a significant part in convicting Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
The Arizona statute was passed soon after it was revealed that the Phoenix police were the subject of an FBI investigation.