Thanks to social media and cell phones over the years, we have become more aware of crimes committed by police. A new proposed bill states that individuals could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor if their recordings interfere with police duties.
Recently, FL Representative Alex Rizo filed House Bill 11, which states that anyone who obstructs law enforcement officers in the performance of their responsibilities would be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, which may include taking smartphone footage if police believe that the recording is interfering with their capacity to do their job.
Anyone who tries to “disrupt, hinder, impede, or interfere” with the officers performing their duties could face charges.
Rod Skirvin, President of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, said, “I don’t think that there is any problem with recording the police. I think everyone should be able to do that, but I don’t think you should get in their face to do it.”
You could be charged if you arent within 30 feet of an officer after being warned.
Dushont Morrison of Fort Lauderdale said, “I think they are trying to hide something like you don’t want people recording. Why, if you not doing nothing wrong?”
Any offenders will face a second-degree misdemeanor charge, be fined $500, and could be jailed for up to 60 days.
Eric Schwartzreich, a criminal defense attorney, said, “It’s a balancing test — people have absolute first amendment rights to protest. What people don’t have is a right to either attack law enforcement to either loot or to impede in an investigation.”
Bills are being introduced in the Florida Senate for the 2022 legislative session, which begins on January 11th. The measure, if passed, may take effect in October 2022.