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Smile for the Camera

One Indiana lawmaker wants to give Hoosiers more rights when it comes to videotaping law enforcement during an arrest.

Republican State Senator Jim Banks of Columbia City has introduced legislation that would give citizens the right to sue law enforcement if an officer stops them from taping or photographing him while making an arrest or carrying out some other official duty in a public place.

The citizen cannot be interfering with the officer or engaging in activity that puts the officer in danger.

Banks tells Indy Politics he got the idea from the Reason Foundation.  However there have been numerous stories of police confiscating cell phone cameras from citizens who have filmed them making an arrest.

Most recently the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled an Illinois law which made it a felony to tape police likely violated the U.S. Constitution.

Banks says he is not aware of any incidents in Indiana.  He says he has not heard from law enforcement about the bill, bu does not think any officer who is operating within the law should have a problem with citizens taping their actions.

Lawmakers convene on January 7.


  • CircleCityScribe

    Someone needs to let Jim Banks audit a middle school Civics class in Indiana. The fourth amendment against unreasonable search and seizure applies. Indiana already allows anyone in a lawful location to photograph what they lawfully see from that location. If items are seized improperly they already have redress through the court. No need for more legislation.

    Illinois had a law that was ruled invalid, that may have been written by their own legislators for “self-protection.” After all, an Illinois Governor was caught on recording engaging in conduct that may be interpreted as trying to sell a U. S. Senate seat and he is serving his debt to society at this time. Illinois does, after all, apparently have a very unusually high rate of corrupt elected officials who do not want their actions recorded. -and I remember a group of Indiana legislators who skipped several days of the session on a junket to Illinois…..

  • John Howard
  • IndyAries

    Yep. Regardless of the lip service, government employees do NOT want to be recorded by We the so-called Masters.

    “A fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional
    form of representative government is that government is the servant of the people and not their master” – IC 5-14-3-2