SB1054, a bill whose time has long since past. Ultra-conservative Tea Party good-ol-boy-network Republican State Senator John Kavanagh has introduced legislation to make it illegal to record a police officer within 20 feet without express permission. Kiss sousveillance goodbye. Open the door for police abuse of power.
I don’t need to tell you what recordings of police officers has brought to light over the past few years; it’s been all over the news.
The bill is clearly an attempt to shield Kavanagh’s good ol’ boy network buddy Joe Arpiao and his sheriff’s office from further evidence of abuse of power. But this has further ramifications than just protecting a fellow good ol’ boy. In the past year, the Phoenix police were involved in at least one case superficially like those back east, events that could have erupted into rioting. In the case I have in mind, video exonerated the officers and clearly put them in the right. It works both ways.
Kavanagh has a history of supporting reactionary agenda, including the “religious freedom bill” that would allow businesses to legally discriminate. He also supported an anti-immigration bills that was clearly unconstitutional (and defeated, fortunately).
Police officers at every level work for the people, and the people have a right to supervise their activity. The bill is another one that’s clearly unconstitutional and is a waste of taxpayer dollars and of time in the senate. This bill should be permanently tabled.