June 8, 2020
Assembly Passes Legislation Protecting New Yorkers' Rights to Record Law Enforcement Activity
Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember N. Nick Perry today announced the Assembly passed the Right to Monitor Act, which confirms the publics right to record public law enforcement activity (A.1360-A, Perry).
As we seek to bring transparency and accountability to our criminal justice system, we cannot look past the fact that too often incidents of brutality and excessive force do not come to light unless they are caught on camera, Speaker Heastie said. This legislation will ensure that New Yorkers rights are protected, and incidents are not suppressed from the public.
Today, everyone has a camera in their pockets. And in cases of police abuse of power, recordings have proven time and again to be an invaluable protection. It is a right we have and this bill will allow us to exercise this right without fear of police interference, intimidation or confiscation of our recording devices, Assemblymember Perry said. This will both protect New Yorkers rights and hold law enforcement accountable for their actions. It is past time that the right to record was codified in state law.
The Right to Monitor Act ensures that members of the public are legally permitted to record and photograph police activity, giving individuals a legal course of action if an officer interferes with lawful recording. The bill would also protect an individuals right to maintain custody and control of the recording. This change would codify rulings of many federal circuit courts, and the courts of this state, that members of the public have the right to record activity in their neighborhoods.