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posted by janrinok on Tuesday April 07 2015, @12:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the 'give-me-your-Bill'-said-the-officer dept.

In the light of the heated discussions about a certain bill signed in Indiana, here is a more refreshing news about a proposed bill in Colorado. The state of Colorado is considering a bill that outlines punishments for police officers who interfere with photographers. House Bill 15-1290 is titled "Concerning Prohibiting A Peace Officer From Interfering With A Person Lawfully Recording A Peace Officer-Involved Incident".

The bill states that if a person is lawfully documenting a police officer and then has their imagery seized or destroyed without a warrant, they are entitled to $15,000 for actual damages plus attorney fees and costs. The bill also would be applied when a police officer intentionally interferes with a person's ability to capture images.

It seems the bill came up as a result of the number of news reports about police officers telling people "Give me your camera", or taking the data away.

The story is covered further in The Denver channel and PetaPixel.

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  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Tuesday April 07 2015, @06:06PM

    by Arik (4543) on Tuesday April 07 2015, @06:06PM (#167513) Journal
    A good correction, but unfortunately the idea still fails.

    Even without the prosecutor involved, courts are still loathe to mess with police, but even if it works perfectly as written, so what?

    The award comes out of the taxpayers pocket, not the offenders. And if you think a $15k judgement will get someone fired, think again. Many cops around the country have triggered much larger payouts and it's extremely rare to see one lose their job over it.
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  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday April 07 2015, @07:09PM

    by FatPhil (863) <> on Tuesday April 07 2015, @07:09PM (#167545) Homepage
    They'll just need to confiscate more stuff that they think may be the fruits of illegal activity (so-called civil forfeiture) in order to recoup their losses. That camera looks valuable...
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  • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday April 07 2015, @07:21PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday April 07 2015, @07:21PM (#167552) Journal

    I agree that the officers should face personal consequences, but the flip side of that is that if the officer is judgment proof, and the law did not specifically say you can sue the police department, it might actually be weaker because you couldn't collect anything. Plus without the law, their would sovereign immunity issues most probably.

    So -- is it perfect? No. Does it address the problem? Yes, in the most important way possible: front page headlines specifically pointing out that it is legal to video cops. The teeth it has are to make that headline happen.