Arizona Governor Signs Bill That Prevents People Filming Police Officers
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Featured Image Credit: Ross O'Toole / Alamy Stock Photo. Dave Ellison / Alamy Stock Photo
People in Arizona can no longer get up close to film police, according to a new bill that was just signed by US state Governor Doug Ducey.
Under the new law, it will now be considered a misdemeanour if someone films an officer within eight feet (2.4 metres) after they have been asked to stop.
This means people under arrest, or witnesses to an arrest, can no longer record police and how these officers interact with the general public.
The new law comes on the same day as Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 20 years and five months in jail for violating George Floyd's civil rights.
The ex-Minneapolis police officer is already serving 22 and a half years in prison for the murder and manslaughter of the unarmed man, which happened during an arrest in May 2020.
Floyd's murder sparked global outrage and a huge resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement around the world after Chauvin's deadly arrest was caught on camera by a bystander.
Floyd was murdered by Chauvin on 25 May, 2020, after the police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes and 25 seconds, despite Floyd's repeated claims that he couldn't breathe.
This new law in Arizona could prevent bystanders, witnesses, and victims from filming police interactions that could turn deadly, just like Floyd's did.
The law is now being roasted on social media, with many noting how the bill mitigates any chance of transparency when it comes to dealing with police unless you're standing at a decent distance from the scene.
George Floyd murderer gets 21 years in federal prison on the same day Arizona makes it Illegal to film police which is the only reason he was found guilty.— Jomon (@Ramiel_Scream) July 8, 2022
Gov Ducey in Arizona just signed a law that makes it illegal to film the police. Are you fucking kidding me? Whats next? Our govt. is out of control.— MJGuitars ☮️ (@mjguitars8) June 28, 2022
The people will have no ground to stand on period. All this does is allow police to shut down our rights because they feel we are within 8ft of them. Are they going to measure before arresting anyone? NO. All they will do is claim the individual is within 8 ft.— 🌵Jeff Lane 🌴 (@therightlane68) June 29, 2022
One Twitter user said: "Governor Ducey in Arizona just signed a law that makes it illegal to film the police. Are you f**king kidding me? What's next? Our government is out of control."
A second social media user added: "People will have no ground to stand on period. All this does is allow police to shut down our rights because they feel we are within eight feet of them. Are they going to measure before arresting anyone? No. All they will do is claim the individual is within eight feet."
A third chimed in with: "George Floyd murderer gets 21 years in federal prison on the same day Arizona makes it Illegal to film police which is the only reason he was found guilty. Insanity."
While supporters say the law is meant to protect law enforcement from harm or distraction, critics say the law is unconstitutional, and does nothing to enhance transparency.
According to Fox10, the new law will help keep police safe from distraction and interference.
The bill was introduced by Arizona state representative John Kavanagh, who is a former police officer.