All too often we have seen police interfere with citizens attempting to catch misconduct on video. A bill in the Colorado Legislature is setting the groundwork that would subject officers who attempt to block, destroy or seize lawfully recorded video by citizens, seeing these officers face a penalty of up to $15,000. The bill was introduced by a bipartisan team of state representatives comprised of three Democrats and a Republican.
Representatives Joseph A. Salazar, Daneya Esgar, Lucia Guzman and David Balmer proposed the legislation. It came about as a result of numerous cases where the current laws and regulations were not properly enforced by police commanders, thereby allowing the unlawful seizure or destruction of legally filmed police video. The Denver police case of Jessica Hernandez, who was shot by officers as she stood in her front yard, is a primary example. A bystander who attempted to film the incident claims that police actively interfered with her attempting to film the incident, resulting in another case where we have to take law enforcement’s word for it.