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Arizona Law Bans People from Recording Police Within 8 Feet
By: Anna Chuang
On Wednesday, a new law in Arizona signed by Governor Doug Decey said that people cannot record police activity within 8 feet.
Getting too close when a police officer is handling a situation is very dangerous. According to azcentral.com, “Police officers have no way of knowing whether the person approaching is an innocent bystander or an accomplice of the person they’re arresting who might assault them. Consequently, officers become distracted and while turning away from the subject of the encounter, the officers could be assaulted by that subject or that subject could discard evidence or even escape.”
The law doesn’t say that people cannot record police activity, but it says that people need to record it from a safe distance. Many people stand only two feet away, and this can create a very hazardous situation for the bystander since it may interfere the police officers.
Furthermore, standing back a little farther can also result in better view of the whole scene.
Police activity, or “law enforcement activity” is when a police officer confronts a suspect in a situation, arrests someone, or deals with a disorderly person.
John Kavanagh, a Republican, discussed the logic behind this new law. According to The New York Times, he said, “I can think of no reason why any responsible person would need to come closer than 8 feet to a police officer engaged in a hostile or potentially hostile encounter. Such an approach is unreasonable, unnecessary and unsafe, and should be made illegal.” Kavanagh also said that 8 feet wouldn’t harm the video’s integrity, and the film would still be clear enough so that viewers can understand what is going on, with our new and sophisticated technology today. This new law will go into effect by September, as stated in The Washington Post.