Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Connecticut: Pass This Law

Balko writes about a brilliant new law in Connecticut:

Connecticut State Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) has introduced a short bill (PDF) that not only acknowledges the right of citizens to record on-duty police officers, it also provides for a civil action against police officers who violate that right.

That second part is important. A right doesn’t mean much if there are no consequences for government officials who ignore it. Witness this case in Florida, where an officer erroneously tries to say federal law prohibits citizen recordings of cops. Even in states where courts have thrown out criminal charges, a cop who doesn’t want to be recorded can still harass, threaten, and even arrest you. You may not be charged. But he won’t be punished, either.

In fact, let’s adopt this at the federal level and apply it everywhere.