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Ducey signs bill criminalizing filming of police activity from less than 8ft away

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Gov. Ducey signed a bill Wednesday criminalizing the filming of police activity by civilians from less than 8ft away.

Arizona state Representative John Kavanagh sponsored the bill, which he says will help officers do their jobs free of distractions or harm.

It would also prevent bystanders from getting too close to potentially dangerous encounters, according to the Arizona Republic.

Critics say the bill violates the First Amendment and gives police officers too much discretion.

The law has exceptions including for those stopped by police in traffic and when the person filming is being questioned by authorities.

It goes into effect September 24, 2022.
Violators would face a misdemeanor charge and up to 30 days in jail if they ignore a verbal warning.

A previous draft of the bill banned anyone within 15 feet from recording police activity.