Arizona lawmakers are licking their chops to pass a bill that will restrict their citizens from recording police activity, even on their own private property. SB 1054 states, “It is unlawful for a person to knowingly make a video recording of law enforcement activity, if the person making the video recording does not have the permission of a law enforcement officer and is within twenty feet of where the law enforcement activity is occurring.” The Bill’s author, State Senator and former New York City Police officer John Kavanagh says the recordings are not always malicious, he says, it’s that “I know it’s a distraction.” A video camera could cause an officer to look away, which could endanger both the officer and the bystander, particularly if an arrest turns violent. “And with the proliferation of cell phones, many more people are videotaping things that they see, which increasingly includes police officers doing law enforcement activities on street.” Kavanagh tries to sugar coat his unconstitutional proposal by spewing, “Today’s high-resolution recorders on phones can pick up even small things at 20 feet,” meaning as an added benefit, “this law may provide better video tape because at 20 feet, you can take in the whole scene.” He doesn’t understand all the backlash and the resistance to his bill he says, “This bill establishes the fact that you can do it, as long as you’re 20 feet away.” [Here’s Mr. Kavanagh’s Number is 602-926-5170]
Dan Pochoda, legal director of the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says that If a person is anyway said to be interfering with police activity, an officer can ask them to step back, “and if you don’t, you can be arrested,” What’s more, “there is absolutely no reason to believe that the great majority of people standing within 20 feet of the police are interfering.” Pochoda adds, “It’s not that there’s insufficient justification for [Kavanagh’s] bill,” he exclaims. “It’s that there’s no justification.” He said. “And given that law enforcement has a history of lack of transparency,” the right to film the police needs to be protected.
What’s even more shocking is that people can not record any police activity on their private property or in their homes unless they are 20 feet away or in an adjacent room from the cops. This bill also gives cops the authority to decide whether or not an individual is “interfering in the law enforcement activity or that it is not safe to be in the area, and can order the person to stop recording or to leave the area.”
Shutting down the last line of defense for the people to continue to hold these public servants accountable is beyond tyrannical and an obvious legislative shield to protect their misconduct. This law is a blatant violation of our Human Rights not to mention giving another shot of authoritarian soup directly into the brains of these Police State soldiers. The passage of this bill will stir up even more civil unrest and draw civil disobedience and make things significantly worse for law enforcement. The already rise in disdain for law enforcement will be ignited even more with these added draconian restrictions upon the people.
In order to continue the monopolized Orwellian surveillance state and keeping the for profit prisons full, they need free rein and additional protection for their wrong doings. These pesky masters with their cell phone cameras continuously capturing these servants violating the rights of the citizens they serve is a real thorn in their side. They need to revert back to where it’s their word against ours, and with the other two members of the Triad (Judge and Prosecutor) they’ll always get off the hook.
A Pro Liberty, Pro Freedom, Human Rights Activist, very involved in a wide variety of Activism and Exposing the Truth at all costs.
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