This is the New Colorado Law That Protects Citizens’ Right to Record Police


Back in April, we reported that there was a new bill in Colorado that aimed to protect citizens’ rights to record police and to punish officers who interfere with those rights. Well, good news for photographers: the bill has been signed into law.

The title of HB 15-1290 was “Stop Police Interference Cop Incident Recordings,” and the summary said that the proposal was: “Concerning prohibiting a peace officer from interfering with a person lawfully recording a peace officer-involved incident.”

Colorado Governor Hickenlooper’s office is now announcing that HB 15-1290 is one of the bills that were signed into law on May 20th, 2015. Here’s a copy of the act that was signed:

The law affirms that citizens have a right to record “any incident” involving an officer and the right to maintain “custody and control” of both the recording (e.g. photos) and the device that was used (e.g. the camera). The law also says that citizens have the right to take civil action against police officers who interfere with their recording.

Citizens are entitled to the replacement of damaged devices, $500 for damaged or destroyed recordings, legal fees, and punitive damages of up to $15,000.

Image credits: Header photograph by Justin A. Wilcox