JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A Mississippi Representative has proposed a bill that would set limitations for the video recording of law enforcement activity in Mississippi.

Mississippi Representative Jill Ford proposed House Bill 448 to be voted upon during the 2023 Regular Legislative Session. If passed, the bill would prohibit a person who is not in the subject of police contact to video record law enforcement activity within a certain of feet of the law enforcement officer.

“An act to prohibit a person who is not the subject of police contact form video recording law enforcement activity within a certain number of feet of the law enforcement officer when the officer has given a clear, verbal, instruction to the person to stand no less than fifteen feet away from the law enforcement activity; to require any person who is not the subject of police contact to obtain the law enforcement officer’s permission before recording the activities of the law enforcement officer; to authorize a person who is the occupant of a vehicle stop by a law enforcement officer to record all activity without first obtaining the permission of the law enforcement officer; and for related purposes.”

House Bill No. 448

Additionally, the bill also states when the law enforcement activity occurs on private property in an enclosed structure, a person who is the owner of or has authority to manage or control the private property may make a video recording of the law enforcement activity from an adjacent room or area that is less than fifteen feet away from where the activity is occurring, unless the law enforcement officer determines that:

  • The person is interfering in the law enforcement activity
  • It is not safe for the person to be in the enclosed area and orders the person to stop recording or to leave the area; or the person needs to stand more than fifteen feet away from where the activity is occurring.

A person who violates the proposed bill would be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined no less than $500 and no more than $1,000 and/or imprisoned in the custody of the county jail up to six months.

If convicted for a second violation of the bill, a person would be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined no less than $2,000 and/or imprisoned in the custody of the county jail 12 months.