The City is seeking public input on Ordinance 11746 related to the obstruction of officers in their official duties.
On June 23rd, the Mayor and Council will be discussing Ordinace 11746 related to the obstruction of an officer in performance of their official duties and are collecting public input.
The Ordinance prohibits a person from entering a crime scene or investigation scene without permission of an officer; and prohibits a person from knowingly obstructing or hindering a police officer or Community Service Officer who is exercising his or her official duties.
The Ordinance also expressly codifies a person’s right to record police activities that take place in public. It doesn’t just recognize that right, it puts that right into our City Code.
The Ordinance expressly states that:
- the public has a clear right to free speech and to record police activities that take place in public; and
- the acts of recording police activity or engaging in constitutionally protected speech alone shall not be considered prohibited conduct under the ordinance.
The Mayor and Council discussed this Ordinance during the 4/21 Mayor and Council meeting. The link to that discussion is here: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/mcc-av/2020-04-21-MC-RS.mp4
The discussion of this item comes up at the 20:01 minute mark.
The ordinance is designed to address a particular practice of persons who interfere with police activities, often by confronting police officers carrying out their duties, interfering with their investigations, filming themselves, and then posting it online to troll for hits and views. You can see a video of this activity here: (WARNING: this video contains profanity) Auditor Harassing Officers
Tucson Police Chief Christopher Magnus explains, during the discussion, that this activity has been ongoing and real, and has happened throughout the city, endangering the safety of the public and officers.
You can read more about it in the story published in the Arizona Daily Star, shortly after the adoption of the Ordinance, here:
AZ Daily Star Article 4/27/2020
You can read a pdf of the ordinance, as adopted by Mayor and Council, here: Ordinance 11746
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