Arizona has passed a new law that prohibits people from recording police officers at short distances. If they do, they could be subject to a fine or 30 days in jail.
Some people oppose the law. They state that this is a threat to free speech and the right to a free press.
Officers have often been exposed as witnesses film their interactions with the public, sometimes revealing their misconduct.
The law will be put into effect on September 24. It will ban recording officers, in the state, within a distance of 8 feet of an incident. The law will not apply to those who are involved with the police in an enclosed location or private property.
State Representative John Kavanaugh commented on the issue. “Getting very close to police officers in tense situations is a dangerous practice that can end in tragedy. Police officers have no way of knowing whether the person approaching is an innocent bystander or an accomplice…”
In February, the National Press Photographers Association filed an objection to the law. They stated that the law “runs counter to the clearly established right to photograph and record police officers performing their official duties…”