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Arizona Enacts New Law Making it Illegal to Film Police

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In a sudden and controversial move, citizens of The Copper State are no longer allowed to film coppers, conjuring a great deal of criticism around the country.

In a nation where police interactions have been under the microscope for decades, the move is a rather bold one.

Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation banning residents from recording video within eight feet of “police activity” on Sunday.

The law classifies knowingly filming within eight feet of officers as a class 3 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, $500 in fines and up to a year in probation, according to Arizona law. The law says officers must warn anyone filming at least once before they can be charged with a crime.

The legislation defines police activity as any time law enforcement officers are conducting an arrest, questioning a suspicious person, issuing a summons, handling an emotionally disturbed or disorderly person who is exhibiting abnormal behavior, or enforcing the law.

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There are concerns about how the law could be weaponized by police themselves.

Critics argue the law could permit officers to simply move toward anyone filming them in order to legally halt the recording.

Approximately one year ago, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into the Phoenix Police Department, citing concerns over their use of force and alleged mistreatment of the homeless population in the city.

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About the Author:
As a lifelong advocate for the dream promised us in the Constitution, Andrew West has spent his years authoring lush prose editorial dirges regarding America's fall from grace and her path back to prosperity. When West isn't railing against the offensive whims of the mainstream media or the ideological cruelty that is so rampant in the US, he spends his time seeking adventurous new food and fermented beverages, with the occasional round of golf peppered in.