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Judge suspends Arizona’s law limiting the filming of cops

On First Amendment grounds.
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A federal judge in Arizona has halted a new law in the state banning the filming of police. The judge gave any agency that wants to defend the law one week to go to court.

We obtained a copy of the decision for you here.

The law was legally challenged by media organizations that argued that it was a violation of the First Amendment.

Judge John Tuchi argued that media organizations, “are likely to succeed on the merits,” according to the lawyer representing the media plaintiffs, Matthew Kelley. The ruling means that journalists and citizens do not have to worry about the law going into effect later this month.

The law would make it illegal for people to film police within 8 feet. Violation of the law would result in a misdemeanor charge.

The sponsor of the bill State Rep. John Kavanagh claimed the bill would help police do their work better without disruptions.

“It’s really distracting and getting dangerous because they come within a foot or two of officers making arrests or doing other enforcement, so I wanted to provide them with some relief,” he said.

But critics of the law claim it violates the First Amendment.

Anyone who wants to defend the law has until September 16.

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