Bill Would Make Recording Crimes Illegal in SC - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Bill Would Make Recording Crimes Illegal in SC

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A surveillance camera caught a man getting punched as part of "the knockout game." A surveillance camera caught a man getting punched as part of "the knockout game."
COLUMBIA, S.C. - One of the bills waiting for South Carolina lawmakers to go back into session January 14th would make it illegal to record or publish video or audio of a violent crime.

"This is really aimed at what we've seen around the country: a proliferation of people who might not actually be the ones committing the crime but go out there with the people committing the violent crime for the purpose of videotaping it and then putting it up on the Internet," says Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, who prefiled the bill.

He points to the “knockout game” as an example, where someone picks a random person and tries to knock them out with one punch. In some cases, a friend of the puncher is shooting video of it.

“Really this is another tool for law enforcement to use to make sure that somebody can't claim, 'Oh, I didn't commit that crime, I just videotaped it,' when in reality they were part of the problem in the first place," Sen. Sheheen says.

There are exceptions written into the bill. For example, police and businesses would still be able to have surveillance cameras and if those cameras were to record a crime, that would not be illegal.

And innocent citizens who witness a crime would be allowed to shoot video of it with their cell phones and give it to police or the news media.

The news media would also be exempt.

You can read the bill here.

If the bill becomes law, illegally recording or publishing video or audio of a violent crime would be a felony with a penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

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