rainn.png
Thursday February 2nd, 2023 5:53AM

Arizona Legislature won't defend law limiting police filming

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PHOENIX (AP) — The Republican leaders of the Arizona Legislature will not try to defend a new law limiting up-close filming of police that has been blocked by a federal judge, a decision that essentially ends the fight over the contentious proposal.

Senate President Karen Fann and House Speaker Rusty Bowers both said they would not intervene in the case by the Friday deadline set by the federal judge when he temporarily blocked the new law from taking effect last week on First Amendment grounds.

And the bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, said Friday that he has been unable to find an outside group to defend the law, which was challenged by news media organizations and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The groups will now ask that the law, which was set to take effect next week, be permanently blocked.

Kavanagh said he will review U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi's ruling and see if he can craft a law that passes constitutional muster. He said the law is needed to keep people from distracting police while they are trying to make an arrest, but Tuchi agreed with the challengers that it runs afoul of precedents that say the public and press have a right to film police doing their jobs.

Tuchi noted that there are already Arizona laws barring interfering with police, and that singling out people for taking videos appears to be unconstitutional on its face. And he wrote in his ruling that barring someone from using a phone or news video camera to record — without banning other actions — is a content-based restriction that is illegal.

“If the goal of HB2319 is to prevent interference with law enforcement activities, the Court fails to see how the presence of a person recording a video near an officer interferes with the officer’s activities,” Tuchi wrote.

The law makes it illegal to knowingly film police officers 8 feet (2.5 meters) or closer if the officer tells the person to stop. And on private property, an officer who decides someone is interfering or the area is unsafe can order the person to stop filming even if the recording is being made with the owner’s permission.

Bystander cellphone videos are largely credited with revealing police misconduct — such as with the 2020 killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis officers — and reshaping the conversation around police transparency. But Republican Arizona lawmakers say the legislation was needed to limit people with cameras who deliberately impede officers.

Kavanagh and the Legislature were warned repeatedly by the ACLU and the National Press Photographers Association that the proposal would violate the First Amendment, but it passed anyway with only Republican support. The NPPA, on behalf of itself and more than two dozen press groups and media companies including The Associated Press, also wrote to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey after the measure was passed, telling him as well that it was unconstitutional and urging a veto. Ducey signed the bill anyway.

Mickey H. Osterreicher, the general counsel for the photographers association, called the law “an unconstitutional solution in search of a non-existent problem.”

“It’s always a lot easier to write a letter than it is to have to file a lawsuit,” he said. “But some people like to do it the easy way and other people are forced to do it the hard way.”

Once a coalition of media groups and the ACLU sued, Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich refused to defend the law, as did the prosecutor and sheriff's office in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix.

Bowers said he and fellow Republicans disregarded opponents who said the bill was unconstitutional and essentially said “let’s just try and see what happens.”

“But when you get right down to where you to have to start spending money, no,” Bowers said. “We’ll just wait till next year."

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Surprise is key part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took the playbook of a fellow Republican, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, to a new level by catching officials flat-footed in Martha's Vineyard with two planeloads of Venezuelan migrants
4:33PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Gov. Kristi Noem silent on possible appeal to ethics board
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is showing no sign of fighting an action taken against her by a state ethics board over her actions surrounding her daughter's application for a real estate appraiser's license
4:19PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Arizona Legislature won't defend law limiting police filming
The Republican leaders of the Arizona Legislature won't try to defend a new law limiting up-close filming of police that has been blocked by a federal judge
4:05PM ( 42 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Ukrainian president: Burial site contains torture victims
Investigators searching through a mass burial site in Ukraine have found evidence that some of the dead were tortured, including bodies with broken limbs and ropes around their necks
4:13PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Putin vows to press attack on Ukraine; courts India, China
Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to press his attack against Ukraine despite its latest counteroffensive
4:08PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Rams, Falcons look to rebound from season-opening losses
The Los Angeles Rams and the Atlanta Falcons both look to bounce back from season-opening losses when they meet at SoFi Stadium
4:04PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
'Sweetie Pie' star found guilty in nephew's shooting death
A former star of a reality TV show based in St. Louis has been convicted of arranging the killing of his nephew
3:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
Live updates: King Charles III, siblings on vigil at coffin
King Charles III and his three siblings have stood vigil around their mother’s coffin as it lies in state at Westminster Hall in London
2:50PM ( 1 hour ago )
Queen's death is reminder of disappearing WWII generation
The long good-bye for Queen Elizabeth II is a reminder of a broader truth playing out with little fanfare across Britain: The nation is bidding farewell to the men and women who fought the country’s battles during World War II
2:27PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Western Alaska braces for strong storm, possible floods
A vast swath of western Alaska could see flooding and high winds as the remnants of Typhoon Merbok move toward the Bering Sea region
6:21AM ( 10 hours ago )
New York museums to disclose artwork looted by Nazis
Museums in New York that exhibit artworks looted by Nazis during the Holocaust are now required to let the public know about that dark history through signs or placards put on display with the stolen objects
5:41AM ( 11 hours ago )
Chiefs rally past Chargers 27-24 in early AFC West showdown
Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes, rookie Jaylen Watson returned an interception 99 yards for the go-ahead fourth-quarter score, and the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24
12:42AM ( 16 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Pelosi to visit Armenia as cease-fire with Azerbaijan holds
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she plans to make a weekend visit to Armenia, where a cease-fire was holding for a second day after an outburst of fighting with neighboring Azerbaijan
2:36PM ( 2 hours ago )
Michigan man gets 5 years in prison for role in Capitol riot
A Michigan man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for his role in the U.S. Capitol attack by a mob that disrupted Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory
2:26PM ( 2 hours ago )
Live updates: Wait to see queen's coffin extends to 24 hours
The line organized by British authorities for people to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin as she lies in state has reopened after being closed for more than seven hours due to a surge in numbers
12:32PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Live updates: Queen's funeral police effort is biggest ever
London police say Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday will be the largest single policing event the force has ever handled
7:40AM ( 9 hours ago )
Top China official wants high-tech cooperation with S. Korea
China’s top legislator has called for cooperation with South Korea in advanced technology and supply chains, as he met South Korean officials amid concerns that their moves to solidify a military alliance with Washington could hamper Seoul’s ties with Beijing
6:40AM ( 10 hours ago )
Live updates: King Charles visits Wales to complete UK tour
King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, have arrived in Wales for an official visit
6:16AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Surprise is key part of migrant travel from Florida, Texas
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took the playbook of a fellow Republican, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, to a new level by catching officials flat-footed in Martha's Vineyard with two planeloads of Venezuelan migrants
4:33PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Gov. Kristi Noem silent on possible appeal to ethics board
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is showing no sign of fighting an action taken against her by a state ethics board over her actions surrounding her daughter's application for a real estate appraiser's license
4:19PM ( 30 minutes ago )
2 Chicago cops charged in shooting that wounded unarmed man
Two Chicago police officers face felony charges for allegedly shooting and seriously wounding an unarmed man during a July shootout on the city’s southwest side that also wounded a second man
4:03PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Witness questioned about Jones criticism of Sandy Hook trial
Alex Jones' criticism of his trial in Connecticut over calling the Sandy Hook school shooting a hoax has become a topic of the proceedings
3:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
Key insider in Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot gets sentence break
A judge has slashed nearly four years off the prison sentence of a star witness in the plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor, assuring Ty Garbin will be free in 2023
3:09PM ( 1 hour ago )