Oklahoma Bill Would Make it Illegal to Film or Photograph Police Officers and Put Online
This has a long way to go before becoming a law, but it recently was passed unanimously by the House Judiciary Criminal Committee.
If House Bill 2273 is passed into a law in Oklahoma, interactions with law enforcement officers would definitely take a change. We have seen people in recent years record their interactions with officers, whether it be through a dash cam or their cell phone. If the video or photo is used to “threaten, intimidate, harass or stalk” an officer that would be a misdemeanor charge.
That misdemeanor would be upgraded to a felony if another photo or video is published by the offender in the future. A person would also not be allowed to publish an officer's name, birth date, and address, it lists telephone number, driver license number, Social Security number, place of employment, and mother’s maiden name as items that would be banned from being made public by civilians. At the end of the list, it includes: “a photograph or any other realistic likeness of the person.”
I think we can all agree, no one should be releasing an officer's social security number or any of their personal information like mother's maiden name. Cindy Alexander of Indivisible Stillwater Oklahoma, an education and advocacy group. “Video is like an extension of our collective eyes and we don’t want our eyes blindfolded.” Alexander said that while it threatens the rights of Oklahomans, she doesn’t expect it to pass.
This bill still has a long way to go before going into law. Many folks feel more comfortable filming an officer during a traffic stop or interaction since it holds the officer's accountable for their actions. If this bill were to pass, you could still film, but if the video or photo is put online, you could face charges.