New Arizona law bans filming police within 8 feet

Published: Friday, July 8, 2022 - 2:23pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (1.14 MB)

On Wednesday, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a new law that restricts the recording of police. The law makes it illegal to record within 8 feet of police.

An officer may issue a verbal warning if they feel the person recording is too close. But a person who is the subject of police interaction may record at will as long as it doesn’t interrupt “lawful police actions.” An earlier version of the bill featured a 15-feet ban but was later amended to address concerns of constitutionality.

Gregg Leslie is a law professor at ASU. 

“I don’t think a distance measurement is ever going to be good enough, because it always will include activity that is not meant to interfere with police and is meant to document police activities that you have a right to document," Leslie said. He believes the law will be difficult to enforce and violates the First Amendment.

“I’m imagining if there are arrests under this law, it will be because an officer doesn’t want to be filmed rather than actually saying somebody was interfering with an arrest," he said.

Leslie says there will likely be a challenge in court, especially if someone is arrested under the law. 

PoliticsLaw Enforcement