New York State Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Bay Shore) today announced the introduction of new legislation (S5729) that would make it a crime to record and promote violent felonies. The measure comes in response to recent heinous crimes being filmed and posted online and live streamed through Facebook.
Senator Boyle said, “The internet and social media provide platforms for attention-hungry criminals to post senseless acts of violence online. This bill is just one way to help our laws stay up-to-date with the many different ways these technologies are being abused. We want to make it very clear that this morally depraved behavior will never be tolerated in New York, and if your intent is to seek fame while committing a violent crime, you will be held accountable for your actions.”
The measure would make it a class E felony – punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 – to deliberately record a video, or help another person record a video, while committing a violent felony with the intent to promote it. Under the provisions of the bill, bystanders who film the account and news organizations who report on it are not considered active participants and would not be penalized.