Before retiring to dry heat and a second career in politics, Arizona state Sen. John Kavanagh arrested criminals in Times Square and other New York-area transit areas — and one heroin bust 40 years ago, he says, inspired his new, instantly controversial bill to criminalize close-up filming of police in public.

The legislation would require people to be at least 20 feet away while recording “law enforcement activity” or farther if officers decide that’s needed. Recording inside private buildings such as homes would be allowed from “an adjacent room or area” unless an officer objects. Violations would be petty offenses or, if a warning is given, misdemeanors carrying up to 30 days in jail.

The Republican lawmaker says his reason for introducing the bill is not wholly related to the recent and sustained surge in footage showing police allegedly mistreating or killing people. “In one word: Wilson Pickett,” Kavanagh says of his inspiration. FULL REPORT