A bill in Tuscan, Arizona that states citizens cannot record officers in uniform has gone viral.
What We Know:
- Earlier in the week, rapper Waka Flocka posted content to Instagram stating “It is now ILLEGAL to take a video of uniformed police in Tuscan Arizona. You can now be arrested for taking a video or charged up tp $750.”
- This stired up controversy esspecially in recent weeks as videos created by citizens have documented deaths of black people in police custody. Many are outraged by the law because it sounds like it protects police and prevents citizens from capturing police brutality on camera. In the case of George Floyd, multiple videos from different angles were shot of Floyd being killed by Minneapolis police officers.
- The ordinance that was passed on April 21, says in part: Police “…may restrict individuals from physically entering crime scenes or areas immedeiately surrounding where such enforcement activity, investigations, and other police related activities are taking place.” Ordinance 11746 makes filming a crime scene a potential class two misdemeanor that is punishable by up to four months in jail and $750 fine.
- Even Ice Cube had something to say about it on Twitter stating “Please make sure it’s pro-people and not pro-Law Enforcement. Ya’ll should have an emergency meeting to make sure you’re satisfying the great citizens of Tuscon and surrounding areas. I love it there I’d hate to miss it.”
Please make sure its pro-people and not pro-Law Enforcement. Y’all should have an emergency meeting to make sure you’re satisfying the great citizens of Tucson and surrounding areas. I love it there I’d hate to miss it. https://t.co/GLcnXnHZn9
— Ice Cube (@icecube) June 7, 2020
- The mayor of Tuscon, Regina Romero, responded to clarify the city’s intentions of the ordinance. She stated the ordinance was a response to videos so obscene they couldn’t put them on-air. They are from people who go out of their way to shout insults at police, then post them for on-line audiences that like that sort of thing.
Article on the ordinance below.
When we voted on this in April, Mayor and Council agreed to come back to review it to ensure proper implementation.https://t.co/QM64TjCEmZ
— Regina Romero (@TucsonRomero) June 6, 2020
- The city says it’s perfectly legal to record video outside police lines but citizens are worried the police may use it to prevent videos of authentic abuse. After recent uproar over the law, Mayor Romero says she is going to ask City Council to review it and revise the language so it wont be abused by officers.
The Mayor said “The fear that our black brothers and sisters feel during their interactions with law enforcement is very real. The ability to record members of our police department is a critical mechanism for public accountability, and in many instances, the only way injustices and abuses have been exposed across the country.”