This bill would make it a crime for a person to come within a certain distance of a police officer performing duties if the person is told by the officer to stop moving or to move away. While this bill does not mention recording, it is clear that this is an attempt to break down First Amendment protections by making it impossible for citizens to observe and record police interactions in their communities.
Whether it’s at a rally, a traffic stop, or during a police response to a mental health crisis, community members cannot hold police officers accountable if they cannot observe what is going on. The overbroad nature of this particular bill also makes it subject to abuse and misinterpretation.
We oppose this bill which would severely thwart attempts to build police accountability.
*Note: SB 299 was a copycat version of HB 1186 that failed in the Senate.