Florida Rep. Alex Rizo (R-Hialeah) introduced a bill to the Florida legislature that would make it a second-degree misdemeanor for someone to “disrupt, hinder, impede, or interfere" with law enforcement officers while they are performing official duties. While the bill does not explicitly mention the act of cellphone recording, its langauge would give police wide discretion to arrest individuals who they perceive are impeding their activities.
On May 26th, New Mexico journalist Tabitha Clay filed a lawsuit against the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office. Clay claims local law enforcement violated her First Amendment rights by allegedly retaliating against her and withholding information after she wrote an article in May of 2019 detailing a sheriff’s deputy’s deployment of a taser on a 15-year-old special education student.
Since Florida Governor Ron. DeSantis signed the “Combating Public Disorder” act into law this past April, civil liberties groups across the country have questioned its constitutionality. Now, two separate groups have sought to challenge the law in federal court.
On April 19th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law H.B. 1, new legislation that includes a collection of amendments and additions to existing Florida statutes concerning criminal charges for violent protests. The legislation enhances penalties for people who commit crimes during a riot and gives the state the power to approve funding of local budgets, particularly in regards to funding law enforcement.
On March 23rd, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill aimed at limiting minors’ access to pornographic content. The new law is the latest move in an ongoing campaign by conservative lawmakers in the state to combat online pornography.
On November 20th, the City of Delano, California agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by four high school students who alleged that Delano police officers violated their First Amendment right to record police.
Anti-death penalty protesters want to stand vigil during executions outside the prison entrance but have been blocked by police since early July. The ACLU lawsuit says the 1.6-mile no-protest zone around the federal prison does not serve a significant government interest and should be struck down.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota, along with law firm Fish & Richardson, has filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of four protesters against the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Police Chief, the head of the police officer’s union, and others.