Colorado law makes police harassment of photographers illegal
I know that we have been reporting many anti photography laws lately. It’s a drag. But sometimes, the law makers surprise us and actually work towards making the world a better place for photographers..
This new Colorado law is called “Stop Police Interference Cop Incident Recordings”. The summary of the proposed bill stated:
“The bill creates a private right of action against a peace officer’s employing law enforcement agency if a person records an incident involving a peace officer and a peace officer destroys the recording or seizes the recording without receiving consent or obtaining a warrant or if the peace officer intentionally interferes with the recording or retaliates against the person making the recording. The person who recorded the peace officer incident is entitled to actual damages, a civil penalty of $15,000, and attorney fees and costs.”
We are happy to announce to our police-stalking shutterbugs that House Bill 15-1290 was signed into law by Colorado governor Hickenlooper (gotta love a man of power with that name) on May 20th.
Unfortunately, the bill does not take effect until a year from now, but with recently-proposed legislation in Texas making it illegal to photograph law enforcement personnel from within 25 feet, I see this as a great move towards protecting Constitutional liberties and establishing another layer of checks and balances for our public servants. Then again, we’re talking about a state that flipped the Federal government the bird by legalizing marijuana for recreational use, so anything is possible now.
P.S. We reported this bill back in April and have to say that we are happy to see it followed through.
Allen Mowery is a Nationally-published Commercial & Editorial Photographer with over 20 years of experience. He has shot for major brands as well small clients. When not shooting client work or chasing overgrown wildlife from his yard, he loves to capture the stories of the people and culture around him.