ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona House bill seeks to impose limits on taking video of police

Jan 27, 2022, 4:25 AM
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – A proposed Arizona House bill to outlaw close-up video recordings of police actions is meant to protect officers and civilians alike, said its sponsor.

State Rep. John Kavanagh said HB 2319 would require recording of police actions in public take place 15 feet away from the scene. Video recording closer than 15 feet would require officer permission.

“I’m simply trying to find a reasonable compromise that will let people still film but not get so close that they’re going to cause … problems,” Kavanagh told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union has said taking photos and videos of what is in plain sight, including police and other government officials performing their duties, in public spaces is a constitutional right.

The Republican legislator, whose district includes Fountain Hills and most of Scottsdale, spent 20 years on the Port Authority Police Department of New York and New Jersey.

“When I was a cop, if I was arresting somebody and somebody suddenly came up within feet behind me, I don’t know if it’s another offender, a friend of the person I’m arresting, who is going to attack me.

“Or I might just turn around to see what’s going on and in doing that, the person I’m arresting punches me, tries to escape or destroys evidence.”

Kavanagh said indoor locations will be an exception to the 15-foot recording limit, if the person recording is legally allowed to be there.

He also said he planned to amend the bill to allow the person being arrested to record the encounter.

“Assuming he’s not in the process of being handcuffed,” Kavanagh said. “That was an omission I’ll take care of, no problem. I’m certainly willing to amend the bill so I don’t run afoul of the Constitution.”

Kavanagh said he was prompted to write the bill two years ago after receiving a phone call from two officers in Tucson.

“They said, “We understand people can film in a public place but can’t we keep a decent distance so we don’t have mistakes or we’re not distracted?'” Kavanagh said.

Objections to the bill, he said, “I think is a matter of you’re stopping people from exposing brutality. First of all, these scenes are now overphotographed. Every police [officer] has a body camera, so there really is no shortage of video footage.”

Lawyers were looking over court decisions involving the issue, he said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona activists want Gov. Doug Ducey, right, to denounce state Sen. Wendy Rogers over her respons...
Kevin Stone

Arizona political coalition urges Gov. Doug Ducey to condemn Sen. Wendy Rogers

An Arizona political coalition is calling on Gov. Doug Ducey to condemn state Sen. Wendy Rogers over her response to the Buffalo shooting.
15 hours ago
(Chandler Police Screenshot)...
Danny Shapiro

Prosecutors don’t charge Chandler officer in fatal shooting of teen

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced Thursday it would not charge an officer who fatally shot a teenager in the back in Chandler early last year.
15 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)...
SuElen Rivera

AAA expects busy roads in Arizona for Memorial Day weekend despite rising gas prices

Despite the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Phoenix reaching $5 last week, AAA expects more travelers for this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year. 
15 hours ago
(Walmart Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Look! Up in the Arizona sky! It’s a Walmart delivery drone!

Walmart announced plans to launch, literally, a delivery service using aerial drones in Arizona and five other states.
15 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

13-year-old charged with terrorism after threatening to shoot Prescott school

A 13-year-old student was arrested after he allegedly told a bus driver he was going to "shoot up the school," authorities said Thursday.
15 hours ago
Michael Sterling. (Peoria Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for missing Peoria man with memory issues

Authorities issued a Silver Alert on Wednesday night for a missing Peoria man with memory issues and other health concerns.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
...
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Arizona House bill seeks to impose limits on taking video of police