A package of police oversight bills introduced in the Colorado Legislature includes a measure that would impose up to $15,000 in civil penalties if a law enforcement officer seizes or destroys a citizen’s recording or interferes with someone trying to film them.
“Primarily, it came up as a result of the number of news reports we’ve been seeing about police officers telling people, ‘Give me your camera,’ or taking the data away, and that is unacceptable conduct,” said Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton and co-sponsor of the bill.
Salazar said House Bill 15-1290 has support from both Democrats and Republicans, and is not intended to penalize police.
“It takes a very special person to be a police officer,” Salazar said. “We want to honor them, but at the same time, we have a few bad apples who need to be aware that their conduct now has major, major consequences.”
Salazar said one incident that caught his attention was a woman’s claims that Denver Police prevented her daughter from filming what happened after Jessica Hernandez, a 17-year-old in a stolen car, was shot.