In Arizona, a former cop turned lawmaker wants to make it a crime to record a cop’s activities in public. The law states that
people must be at least 20 feet away while recording “law enforcement activity” or farther if officers decide that’s needed. Recording inside private buildings such as homes would be allowed from “an adjacent room or area” unless an officer objects.
The whole reason why people feel the need to record the cops is that police are the ones abusing their authority. Filming the cops is a way to keep them from doing things like planting drugs on people (click the link to see a cop planting drugs on a suspect.)
This law would allow cops to get away with behavior like this cop in Missouri who threatened to plant evidence and even kill the kid:
Especially since it always seems to go one of two ways: the video shows the cops acting properly, or the video is mysteriously “unavailable for technical reasons.”
The lawmaker in this case claims:
“I’ll never forget how I was distracted by someone being behind me while I was making an arrest,” he says. “He could have pulled out a gun just as easily and shot me. And now you have people everywhere with these video cameras in their phones who are walking up behind cops when they are making an arrest.”
I am willing to bet that the number of cops who are shot by a person with a camera are far less than the number of cops who are caught on film committing crimes.
Honest cops should have nothing to fear from a camera. The police have become a criminal gang with badges.