In this digital age, nothing stays a secret for long. Every event, whether it's heartwarming or heartbreaking, is recorded for posterity.

One kind of event that has been recorded over and over is that of police activity. Good or bad, bystanders automatically reach for their phone in order to record the order of events exactly as they happened. These bystanders also get as close as they can.

However, in Arizona, that's not allowed anymore and people are NOT happy.

Redditor Wizard_Elon_3003 asked:

"Arizona just made it illegal to record police officers closer than 8 feet. What are your thoughts on this?"


Many people think this rule is absolutely ridiculous and will have severe ramifications for people trying to do the right thing.​

What Happened To Protect and Serve?

​"The fact that recording them is illegal under conditions, make me feel more threathened than protected."

Global_Paper4153

And The Point Is What Exactly?

"So what is this law intended to accomplish? To prevent people from interfering with police business by getting in their face to film? That's already against the law!"

"Which leaves the "filming" part that they're trying to stop. Which the supreme court has already ruled is okay."

"In practical terms, this law can only be abused. It serves no legitimate purpose."

"Imagine this scenario: I am parked in a parking lot and pull out my phone to open my shopping list before going inside the store. I hear yelling and see a police office arguing very loudly with someone. Despite that the someone is just yelling and not otherwise making any aggressive moves the officer seems to be getting more and more agitated and aggressive.

"Fearing the officer will unnecessarily violently escalate I step out of my car (but not away from it) to get a better view and start recording."

"The person the cop is arguing with points at me and says "See, even this random person thinks you're being too aggressive!""

"The cop turns, shouts at me to stop filming. I don't say anything, I just continue filming. He has no right to demand that I stop filming. We are both in a public space and the supreme court has ruled that I am perfectly within my rights."

"The cop charges over and the moment he gets within 95 inches of me... I'm a criminal. For the crime of standing still while doing something which is legal. Not just legal, but a constitutionally protected activity."

"That's the point of the law. To turn bystanders attempting document potential police misbehavior into criminals."

– Astramancer_

Some people pointed out the benefits or necessities of recording, and how this law will negatively impact society as a whole.

No More Recording

"It's obvious the cops will exploit this to prevent themselves from being recorded whenever they can."

– nosmelc

Just Too Far

"Keep in mind, this law would have made filming George Floyd’s murder a crime. 8 feet is also too far away to make out a badge number."

– OrphanedInStoryville

Filming Is The Way To Go

"IMO it should be legal to record any public employee while they work. What was the official justification for this?"

"I will say I think 99% of police are good people doing a hard job professionally 99% of the time and I don't think they deserve the amount of hate they get. But boy oh boy does that remaining 1% do a lot of harm."

– andrewclarkson

Others think 8 feet is reasonable and is a lot closer than people think.

Filming Is Within The Rules

"8 feet is perfectly fine for any phone-cam to record what's going on. At least this way they firmly indicate that filming IS in fact allowed."

"Seems like a perfectly fine allowance. If you are a cop wrastling a guy down on the ground you don't want any of his friends any closer than that and have to worry about that other person too."

– TheGarp

Remember Your Safety

"If you were trying to get closer than 8 feet before this, than you’re a f*cking idiot."

– AcetonePeroxideH2O2

I Would Like To Make The Rules

"8 feet is reasonable as a bystander. But if an officer approached me less than 8 feet I should still have a right to record him."

"So if I’m in a traffic stop- I’m gonna have to let the officer immediately know I intend to film so he needs to conduct the traffic stop from 8 feet away then or allow me to set up my camera 8 feet away."

– glitterbomb222

Close Enough Is Good Enough

"8 feet is close enough to film literally anything. But like, It's not a big deal IMO. Could have cascading effects later tho."

– Unlucky_Web3199

Some people think bringing the law to light may be a good thing, or are at least undecided.

Don't Do Anything You Don't Want Seen

"Sounds like something to deter police wrongdoings being recorded, and I'm saying this as someone who supports police."

– ASubwayFootlong

The Good, The Bad, The Neutral

"Couple of abstract thoughts. I actually live in AZ so fairly surprised to hear this."

"1. Benefit of the doubt: prevents the masses from identifying specific officers if anything goes viral online. Based off the last few years I'd be fearful of my face showing up online especially in a less than favorable light."

"2. Pessimistic side: yeah its probably because they don't want people recording every cop they see for 'potential evidence' even though it would increase transparency."

"3. I'm undecided if this actually helps or hurts more. The past several years have shown sh*t blows up fast but the videos that end up online start seconds before sh*t hits the fan. I wish they started at the beginning so you could see the circumstances leading up to whatever incident. Those videos are often only released months after and by then the damage has been done."

– PurpleLink739

Situational Impacts

"Honestly I'm thinking it's a good thing in some ways and a bad thing in others.. alot of people have started recording the police more recently since the big blm movement, which isn't a bad thing, but some people are ignorant and just act rude and dickish about it unnecessarily there's no reason for it, and of course the bad is some cops with abuse this new law and milk it for all its worth. The other thing I don't get is making their jobs a pain in the @ss.. they've asked for ID give them your damn ID instead of getting into a situation where the problem won't be resolved for 50 mins give them your ID and be done with it in 10. Just rude and a stupid"

– SadlyUnmistaken

Ultimately, however, people oppose this law.

The Worst Kind Of Law

"Another step in the direction of not insisting on police accountability. There's no reason to have a law like this passed."

– Chemical_Ad_4029

Should Be Illegal In And Of Itself

"It is fascist and concerning, to say the least."

– princeofallcosmos92

"It is unconstitutional"

– SolaroscopyApollo

Everything Will Get Worse

"police brutality is already an issue, creating laws against recording it is worse. You can't try something really without proof? and also, it's SUPPOSED to be legal to record cops, in case they do any shady sh*t."

– savspitsbars

"Obviously they have sh*t to hide and want to get away with it"

– Kir-ius

We all know we've had serious problems when it comes to police brutality, and that filming these events have helped serve at least the smallest amount of justice.

Will this law erase all of the progress we've made?

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