People who say they have faced violence for filming police interactions are condemning a law in Arizona that will restrict recording police officers from within eight feet of police activity, reports NBC News. Some say without cellphone footage, victims of police violence will find it harder to prove misconduct.
Mariah Hereford, 30, said police officers in Hemet, California, allegedly knocked her phone and her mother’s phone out of their hands as they filmed officers searching her fiancé’s car last year.
According toHereford’s lawsuit against the city, an officer slammed her to the ground and hooked his fingers inside her jaw “as if she were a fish and yanked her upward from the ground, “choking her and making her lose consciousness.
A Black mother of four in Riverside County, Hereford told NBC News, “I thought I was going to die that night just from recording.”
According to the Arizona law, which was signed by Gov. Doug Ducey last week and goes into effect in September, a bystander could face a misdemeanor charge for recording a police officer within eight feet of “where the person knows or reasonably should know that law enforcement activity is occurring,” the law states.
The law also says people in a vehicle that has been stopped by police can record “if the occupants are not interfering with lawful police actions.”