New bill proposed to prohibit recording police at a certain distance

Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell says it will create a safety perimeter when law enforcement is working
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:47 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell says an incident with police in McComb, Mississippi last year made it evident that a law must be passed in the state that would put more distance between people and police when recording law enforcement activity.

“Look, you got to stand fifteen feet back and if you want to violate that, we’re going to arrest you too,” Tindell said.

Tindell says the bill was created after a traffic stop last year in McComb involving Mississippi Highway Patrol and other individuals at a scene on Schmidt Road.

He’s in full support of House Bill 448 is in committee right now. He says it will create a safety perimeter when law enforcement is working.

“One of the biggest issues we have now is when there’s an arrest or just a basic traffic stop, it’s individuals failing to follow basic compliances and instructions. I think it’s one thing to say ‘back up’ and give us some room and it’s another thing when you can cite a state law saying you have to give me fifteen feet,” Tindell explained.

The proposed bill prohibits a person who is not the subject of police contact from video recording law enforcement activity within a certain number of feet of the law enforcement officer when the officer has given clear, verbal instruction to the person to stand no less than fifteen feet away from the activity.

“They can film all they want, they can stand back, they can zoom in, but they just need to provide a safe distance, and I think that’s safe for the officer and safe for the person filming and safe for the subject of the investigation,” Tindell said.

Madison County Representative Jill Ford introduced the bill.

She sent WLBT a statement reading, “My intent for introducing this legislation is to protect everyone involved: the perpetrator, pedestrian, and patrolman.”

The deadline for the bill to come out of committee is January 31 before it can be considered by the full House. If passed by the House, it will then be sent over to the Senate, where it will go through the same process.

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