It’s now illegal to record cops within 8 feet in Arizona

A new law makes filming officers a misdemeanor after a verbal warning


By Suzie Ziegler 

PHOENIX — If you want to film police officers, you can’t stand too close, says a new Arizona law. 

On Wednesday, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that makes it a misdemeanor to film law enforcement within 8 feet after officers give a verbal warning, FOX 10 reported. There are some exceptions to the law, like if the person filming is being questioned by police or if the encounter is taking place on private property or during a traffic stop, according to AZ Family

Supporters say the new law will help keep officers safe from distraction and interference. The bill was introduced by State Rep. John Kavanagh, a former police officer. 

“I have no problem with people videotaping police activity, when they’re a reasonable distance away,” Kavanagh told AZ Family last month. “This bill simply says you’re free to photograph police officers but if it’s a potentially dangerous situation, you simply have to stay back 8 feet.” 

Critics say the law is unconstitutional and infringes on First Amendment rights.

NEXT: React without reaction: What cops should do when being recorded

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