For Immediate Release
July 31, 2014
Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz Introduces Bill Giving the Right to Sue When Videotaping is Prevented
New York State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz (D-Bronx) has introduced Senate Bill S.7932 to strengthen New York State's civil rights law permitting civilians to videotape uniformed personnel in the course of carrying out their duties. This new legislation will provide recovery for a person who is prevented from videotaping by uniformed personnel in the amount of $25,000.
Senator Rev Díaz stated: "The video of Eric Garner's tragic last moments has allowed us all to bear witness to just one of the grave injustices that has taken place in New York - and to demand accountability by those responsible. We all know that the right to videotape uniformed personnel in New York is routinely violated. As such, I believe that by sponsoring this piece of legislation, more evidence will be made available, and we will be one step closer to addressing the injustice and discrimination that continues to plague our communities."
The Justification Section of the Senate Sponsor Memo states:
"It should be noted that the right to videotape is already allowed, as long as the person does not interfere with police activity. However, because this right is routinely violated, this legislation is needed. This bill strengthens and protects civilians' rights by affirmatively allowing a person to video tape uniformed personnel in the course of their duties, as long as the person does not interfere with the uniformed personnel carrying out their duties. It also allows the aggrieved person to sue for wrongful interference with videotaping uniformed personnel in the course of their duties."