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Law banning videotaping within 8 feet of police blocked by federal judge

Restrictions on videotaping police officers will not take effect this year. 

That is partially because representatives were unable to find an organization willing to defend the law.

The law would have prevented people from taking videos within 8 feet of police activity after being told to stop or face possible jail time and fines. 

On Wednesday, state Senate President Karen Fann said that the chamber will not be seeking an appeal. House speaker Rusty Bowers echoed a similar sentiment.

Rep. John Kavanaugh was the bill’s author. He claims he originally chose the 8-foot number from legal precedent. 

"I went to 8 feet because the U.S. Supreme Court said, with respect to First Amendment rights, keeping abortion protesters back eight feet from clinic entrances was constitutional. So I thought that same distance would easily apply here." Kavanaugh said. 

U.S. District Judge John Tuchi said the law did not serve a compelling state interest to limit First Amendment rights.

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.