New Bill Draws Consequences For NY Police Who Obscure Their Identity
A new law is currently in the assembly committee in the New York State Senate that would drastically affect how police officers can conduct themselves in public.
Violation of the proposed law could lead to fines, and there's even a hotline that would accompany the law to report infractions. Here are the details.
Police Scrutiny in New York
Police conduct has been under even closer scrutiny recently. Body camera footage has increasingly been used in cases against both civilians and law enforcement officers, and the ever-presence of smartphones means that even when body cams are turned off, law enforcement officers are often filmed by bystanders while they conduct official business and arrests.
But what happens when an officer doesn't want to be filmed, or even identified? That's the basis of the new law currently sitting in the Senate.
New Law Proposed for New York State Officers
Currently, it is completely legal for a New York State resident to "photograph, record and videotape law enforcement officers during their official duties". While filming is legal, Assemblymember Reyes has introduced a bill that would help ensure proper officer identification, by making it illegal for police to hide or cover their badges. From the proposed amendment:
NO POLICE OFFICER OR PEACE OFFICER, WHILE ACTING IN HIS OR HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY... SHALL INTENTIONALLY COVER HIS OR HER BADGE SO THAT HIS OR HER IDENTIFICATION IS NOT VISIBLE.
A violation of the proposed law would carry a $500 fine, but there are no details on any other punishments for repeat offenses. The same rules would apply to state police as well as local police and peace officers.
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