ABA funds lawsuit to defend First Amendment video access for Arizona journalisms
The Arizona Broadcasters Association has joined with nearly a dozen partners to file a lawsuit in opposition to a new Arizona law that limits how journalists can film police activity across the state.
The law makes it illegal for nearly all members of the public to film any law enforcement activity within 8 feet without an officer’s permission. Violations are subject to both fines and potential jail time.
While supports say this will ensure officer safety, our legal filing argues the law is a clear violation of the First Amendment.
We also stipulate the law wasn’t asked for by any local police departments since officers can already establish police lines and require bystanders to step back.
We believe this law takes things too far, criminalizing the act of journalism in many situations, especially at tight-space events like protests.
Lawsuits like this aren’t cheap to fund, and the ABA is supporting it at a high financial level to help ease the burden on other ABA members most directly affected by the law. Please reach out with questions.