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Contact: Adam Joseph
860-240-8641

March 23, 2011

Senator Looney Testifies for: Act Concerning the Recording of Police Activity by the Public

Senate Majority Leader: “Citizens have been harassed, threatened and arrested for recording what would seem to be public action by police officers.”

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D-New Haven / Hamden) testified today before the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee in support of several bills including SB 1206, An Act Concerning the Recording of Police Activity by the Public.

The legislation would allow a person to bring a cause of action against a peace officer who interferes with the person taking a photographic or digital still or video image of the peace officer or another peace officer acting in the performance of his or her duties provided that the individual was not otherwise interfering with the officer in the performance of duty.

“There have been numerous incidents throughout the nation in which citizens have been harassed, threatened and arrested for recording what would seem to be public action by police officers,” said Senator Looney. “It is difficult to understand how a police officer has any expectation of privacy in his or her public duties.”

Senator Looney continued, “In Connecticut, citizens have a right to record police officers in these settings. However, there have been recent incidents in which officers harassed and threatened citizens who were attempting to exercise this right. I believe that creating a possible cause of action against officers who attempt to intimidate citizens in this manner would serve as a deterrent to this behavior. Officers who are following appropriate law and procedure should not object to this recording so long as the recording does not interfere with the officer's ability to perform his or her appropriate duties.”

 

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