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Introduced Version Senate Bill 66 History

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Senate Bill No. 66

(By Senator White)

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[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the Committee

on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §30-29-11, relating to prohibiting law-enforcement surveillance of individuals and groups of individuals participating in constitutionally protected activities without a particularized suspicion of criminal activity unrelated to the protected activity.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §30-29-11, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 29. LAW-ENFORCEMENT TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION.
§30-29-11. Prohibition on surveillance of constitutionally protected conduct.

(a) The Legislature finds that the use by a law-enforcement officer of surveillance tactics on individuals or groups of individuals based on participation in activities protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article III of the West Virginia Constitution, such as political advocacy or the practice of a religion, without particularized suspicion of criminal activity unrelated to the activity protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article III of the West Virginia Constitution, is prohibited. The reality or public perception of infringing upon the First Amendment rights set out in the United States Constitution of any group of people, alienates people from police, hinders community policing efforts, and causes law-enforcement agencies to lose credibility and trust among the people law-enforcement agencies are sworn to protect and serve. Therefore, the West Virginia Legislature declares that surveillance of individuals or groups of individuals in a manner that violates their constitutional rights, is contrary to public policy and should not be used as a law-enforcement investigative tactic.
(1) For purposes of this section:
(A) The term "law-enforcement officer" means any duly sworn and authorized member of a law-enforcement agency authorized to maintain public peace and order, prevent and detect crime, make arrests and enforce the laws of this state, a county or municipality.
(B) The term "state and local law-enforcement agencies" means any duly authorized state, county or municipal organization employing one or more persons whose responsibility is the enforcement of the laws of this state, a county or municipality.
(2) A law-enforcement officer and a law-enforcement agency may not engage in surveillance of individuals or groups of individuals based on participation in activities protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article III of the West Virginia Constitution, including political advocacy or the practice of a religion, without particularized suspicion of criminal activity unrelated to the activity protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article III of the West Virginia Constitution.
(b) State and local law-enforcement agencies shall adopt policies and procedures to include the following:
(1) A prohibition on unconstitutional surveillance of citizens and groups taking part in protected activities;
(2) Independent procedures for receiving, investigating, and responding to complaints alleging prohibited surveillance;
(3) Procedures to discipline law-enforcement officers who engage in prohibited surveillance; and
(4) Any other policies and procedures considered necessary by state and local law-enforcement agencies to eliminate prohibited surveillance.




NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit law-enforcement surveillance of individuals and groups of individuals participating in constitutionally protected activities without a particularized suspicion of criminal activity unrelated to the protected activity.

This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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