The Colorado bill that would entitle citizens at least $15,000 in damages if police interfere with their right to record breezed through the House Tuesday with overwhelming bipartisan approval, another step closer to becoming law.
While numerous court cases have established that the right to record police in public is protected by the First Amendment, many more cops have ignored those rulings, knowing there will be no serious penalty by snatching a camera as “evidence,” even if all they do is delete the footage afterwards.
Colorado House Bill 15-1290 will now make its way to the Senate, which is majority republican, but only by one senator.
And considering the House approved the democratic-sponsored bill 47-16 when the House consists of 34 democrats to 31 republicans, it is highly probable that Senate republicans will cross party lines to vote in favor of the bill, which would make it the first state in the country to protect citizens’ right to record by holding police financial liable for their abuses.
After all, it’s not about partisan ideology, but about police accountability.
The progress of the bill is becoming a concern for Colorado cops, who have violated the rights of citizens to record many times over the years.
The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police said it supports the right of people to record law enforcement activity. But the group remains concerned about the civil penalties the bill calls for, saying it exposes law enforcement to stricter liability standards than other government officials.
“The CACP does not believe that the people who put their lives at risk every day should have different standards of liability than anyone else in government,” group lobbyist, AnneMarie Jensen, said in a statement.
But somebody should tell Jensen nobody else in the government, except police, are violating the rights of citizens to record. And nobody in the government should have “different standards of liability” than the citizens they are supposed to represent anyway.
Or in the case of cops, the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve, which is impossible for me to write without a major eye-roll for we know that’s the last thing on their mind.
And that’s ok. We accept the fact that cops do not care for our safety as they claim when they savagely beat and kill so many citizens. We accept the fact that they are only in it for themselves as they so willingly destroy the lives of citizens to accommodate whatever power trip they are on.
We accept the fact it’s more about “comply or die” than it is about “to protect and serve.”
We see it everyday. The videos don’t lie.
But we won’t accept the fact that they believe they can trample on our rights any time we point a camera in their direction.