Arkansas lawmakers want to ban videos showing officers killed

Lawmakers in the Arkansas House of Representatives passed a bill that would prohibit the release of audio or video depicting the death of a police officer in the line of duty.

House Bill 1236, which passed on a 94-0 in the House Monday, would make it illegal to release recordings of a police officer’s death unless a court rules public interest outweighs the government’s desire to keep such recordings secret.

The main sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jimmy Gazaway, says he proposed the legislation due to the circulation of a video of Officer Jonathan Schmidt being shot to death nearly six years ago, PoliceOne reports.

“It’s just a video of a murder. There’s no general interest in that,” said Gazaway, a prosecutor at the time the Trumann Police Department released the 20-minute recording.

The video keeps showing up in the social media feeds of the officer’s family members, something Trumman Police Chief Chad Henson finds deeply upsetting.

“Every year, this recirculates. It’s just a constant slap in the face,” Henson said.

“This hurts our family so deeply,” the officer’s father, Donald Schmidt, said. “You don’t want the children to see it. You don’t want it made public.”

After passing in the House, the bill was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee and is expected to pass in the Senate next week.

Latest Reviews

  • Four Years Later: IWI Tavor SAR Revisited

    Though IWI's X95, released in 2016, usurps the SAR, my Tavor SAR is still part of the family. For those just now coming across this model, how has it stood up over the years? Let's find out.

    Read More
  • Scope Review: Leupold VX-Freedom FireDot Twilight Hunter

    The budget-friendly line of American-made Leupold VX-Freedom riflescopes found a welcome audience last year, but 2020 sees even more interesting additions to the family, with our hands-down favorite being the illuminated-reticle FireDot line.

    Read More
  • Ruger AR-556: An Outstanding Gateway AR

    It should come as no surprise the Ruger name is synonymous with value, and its’ AR-556 looks to fit this mold as an entry-level AR-15 with a reasonable MSRP. So how does the no-frills Ruger AR-556 perform when put to the test? Read on to find out.

    Read More
  • A Look at the Sig P238, A Year Later

    The Sig Sauer P238 was the first .380 ACP BUG to grace my gun safe, a welcomed addition to the 9mm polymers, .38 SPL revolvers, and .45 ACP 1911s. After more than a year's worth of use, where do I stand on the P238? Let's find out.

    Read More