Bill would make videotaping police a crime if too close

PHOENIX (AP) -- An Arizona lawmaker wants to bar the public from videotaping law enforcement officers from close-range.

Republican state Sen. John Kavanagh's bill would bar videotaping police from 20 feet or closer. The proposed legislation would make it a petty offense to violate the law, or a misdemeanor if the person keeps taping after being warned or has a previous conviction.

Kavanagh says Senate Bill 1064 is needed to keep police from being endangered while investigating crimes by people rushing in to film.

Attorney Dan Pochoda of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona calls the proposal unconstitutional. He says courts have ruled people have a First Amendment right to videotape police.

Pochoda says current law allows police to order people to move back if they are actually interfering.