U.S. District Judge John Tuchi halted enforcement of a new Arizona law that restricted citizens and journalists from filming police in certain circumstances, reports CNN. The law, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in July, made it a crime to record law enforcement activity within eight feet after receiving a warning by an officer. The American Civil Liberties Union and several news organizations filed a lawsuit in August alleging that the law is vague and has "blatant constitutional issues." The ACLU called the judge's ruling an "incredible win for our First Amendment rights that will allow Arizonans to continue to hold police accountable."
The law had been set to go into effect Sept. 24. It fueled concerns over transparency because of frequent videos documenting police brutality. The law includes exceptions, such as recording during traffic stops, as long as filming does not interfere with police actions. The measure's sponsor, state Rep. John Kavanagh, said it was meant to give police a "buffer" because people recording may get too close to "potentially violent encounters."