Proposed Bill Would Make It Illegal for Citizens to Film Law Enforcement Officers
Thanks to modern technology, more citizens are filming police officers and their actions. Now, Texas Representative Jason Villalba wants that made illegal and yes, as his bill is currently worded, you could be arrested for it.
Handheld recording devices have been used to film police officers abusing their authority, abusing citizens and breaking the laws they are sworn to uphold. They have also captured cops simply doing their duty, saving lives, being cool, and helping those in need.
Texas Senate bill HB 2918 would make it illegal to film any officer within 25 feet of you, even if you are directly being engaged by the officer. This law would not apply to the media and could go into effect in September.
Opposition to this bill has been high and it’s sponsor, Texas Representative Jason Villalba, told the Dallas Morning News that even he sees problems with it. According to the Dallas Morning News, Villalba,
Conceded flaws in the bill, written by outside police groups, and he takes responsibility for not properly vetting it before filing.
Villalba also acknowledged that the bill was written with the help of pro-police groups and that, in his own private life, police figure heavily. His best man was, and several relatives are, cops.
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