Legislature considers bill to protect your rights when recording police incidents

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DENVER -- Your rights are front and center at the state Capitol thanks to FOX31 Denver's reporting.

Lawmakers Tuesday discussed legislation to protect you when you take out your smartphone to record police incidents. It's a bill that involves steep fines for officers caught harassing citizens who record police incidents.

The bill’s language states that “if a peace officer destroys the recording or seizes it without consent or warrant, or if the peace officer interferes with the recording, the person recording is entitles to damages and a civil penalty of $15,000.”

One man said he was threatened with arrest if he didn't give up his tablet following a rough arrest on a Denver street. He was invited to the Capitol to speak about his experience.

The Colorado Association of Police Chiefs said Tuesday night the bill was laid over because of concerns raised by law enforcement. Representatives from several agencies lined up in opposition to the proposal, claiming they already have policies in place that protect citizens' rights to record incidents.

The sponsor of the bill said if that's true, then some police agencies aren't following their policies, so state intervention is required.

Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne explains how the investigation you saw first on FOX31 Denver news is now sparking debate at the Legislature. Watch what happened Tuesday in his video report above.



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