State lawmakers are considering a bill focused on when and where the public can point a camera at scenes of police activity.
Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney is a co-sponsor of House Bill 5060, “An Act Concerning The Recording Of Police Activity By The Public.”
Sen. Looney said the bill will protect people who photograph how cops handle their jobs, but critics argued the exceptions in the proposal give police more authority to order people, including the press, to shut their cameras off.
Exceptions allow police to interpret when photography may interfere with their ability to enforce the law, protect public safety, preserve a crime scene and safeguard a person’s privacy.
“It actually authorizes the police in having you turn the camera off each and every time because the exceptions are so broad they swallow the rule,” Attorney Norm Pattis said.
“No responsible officer, operating reasonably in the performance of his duties, should have anything to fear from this bill, but anyone who is acting aggressively, bullying the public or behaving improperly should be worried,” Sen. Looney said.
Sen. Looney acknowledged that police and the chief state’s attorney were involved with drafting the exceptions in Bill 5060.