Feb. 19, 2022 - The NPPA, joined by 26 additional media, First Amendment and photography organizations, has filed an official objection to an Arizona bill that would restrict the First Amendment right to record police activity.
HB 2319 would make it illegal to shoot video of police within 15 feet without their permission. It also gives officers discretion to consider it “interference” when someone is recording their activities inside a building and allows them to order a person to stop recording in that circumstance.
The bill “violates not only the free speech and press clauses of the First Amendment, but also runs counter to the ‘clearly established right’ to photograph and record police officers performing their official duties in a public place,” Mickey Osterreicher, NPPA’s General Counsel, wrote in the letter.
The right to record police activity has been clearly established by every appellate court that has considered the issue, including the Ninth Circuit, which controls constitutional law in Arizona.
The bill is on the agenda for a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee at 8:30 am on Monday, Feb. 21.
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