Annoy' a Cop in New York State? That Could Soon Earn You 4 Years in Jail

“Police officers who risk their lives every day...deserve every possible protection, and those who treat them with disrespect, harass them...deserve to pay a price for their actions.”

It should be a felony to "annoy" a cop in New York, the state Senate has voted.

The New York State Senate passed a bill today that "creates the crime of aggravated harassment of a police or peace officer. The bill  (S.2402), sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo (R-C-I, Rome) would make it a felony to harass, annoy, or threaten a police officer while on duty. "
 A woman is arrested at a protest against the shooting of Kimani Gray, March 13, 2013 in the East Flatbush neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Gray, 16, was shot and killed by police on March 9, provoking protests and unrest in the neighborhood. (Credit: Getty Images)

More from Griffo:
“Police officers who risk their lives every day in our cities and on our highways deserve every possible protection, and those who treat them with disrespect, harass them and create situations that can lead to injuries deserve to pay a price for their actions.”The bill establishes this crime as a Class E Felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.
“At a time when shocking incidents of disrespect and outright confrontation are at an all-time high, the men and women who patrol the streets of our cities deserve every possible protection we can offer them,” Senator Griffo stated. “My bill would make it a crime to take any type of physical action to try to intimidate a police officer. This is a necessary action because we can see from the rise in incidents that too many people in our society have lost the respect they need to have for a police officer. We need to make it very clear that when a police officer is performing his duty, every citizen needs to comply and that refusal to comply carries a penalty.”

 Utica (N.Y.) Police Department Chief Mark Williams said he is "grateful" to see this bill pass through the Senate. Williams adds:
"Our police officers have a very dangerous job and need the support of our government leaders to help make them safe. All too often persons are physically challenging police officers in the line of duty. Currently in those instances where an officer is physically attack [sic] (short of sustaining a physical injury) the lawful charge is only a violation. The consequences are way too low for the offender and it sends the wrong message to the public. Police officers are the public’s first line of defense to restore order in dangerous/chaotic situations. Citizens do not have the legal right to physically challenge the authority of an officer lawfully performing their duties. Threats, intimidation and physical force used upon our police officers not only erode respect for our criminal justice system, but also endanger the public as well."The bill is being sent to the Assembly.
 A policeman stops demonstrators to use a loudspeaker as they take part in a protest wearing hoodies in New York, February 26, 2013 to mark the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting in Florida of black teenager Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
Here's how the legislation reads, according to the New York state legislature web site:
 (Credit: NY State Legislature screen shot)
The question now becomes: if it passes the full legislature, who defines what "annoy" means?

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.