There is a proposed law in New York that would create “the crime of aggravated harassment of a police officer or peace officer.” Really. The new crime would be a Class E felony.
This absolutely essential tool for the perfection of humanity by expanding police power is the invention of Republican State Senator Joe Griffo who explains, “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.”
Griffo continues: “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. 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.”
Passed State Senate
Cynics may note that generally all that is needed to be convicted of touching a police officer is for two policemen, one of who doesn’t even to be there at the time, to swear on their sacred honor that the convict to be touched one of them. The new crime would be punishable by four years in a penitentiary.
This astounding idea was designated Bill S2402 and it passed the New York Senate last Wednesday. To become law it must next be passed by the New York State Assembly. The Bill contains the statement: “Police officers all across this state put their lives on the line every day to protect the people of New York. New York State must establish laws and toughen existing laws that protect the police from becoming victims of criminals. Far too many law enforcement officers are being harassed, injured, even killed while honoring their commitment to protect and serve this state. The Legislature has a responsibility to do everything we can to protect our brave heroes, our police officers, from violent criminals. This legislation contributes to that premise.”
The proposed law would take effect “on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.”
Cops Love It
The actual language of the proposed law states: “A person is guilty of aggravated harassment of a police officer or peace officer when, with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm a person whom he or she knows or reasonably should know to be a police officer or peace officer engaged in the course of performing his or her official duties, he or she strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects such person to physical contact.” You know, like striking his fist with your face.
Cops love the idea. Utica Police Chief Mark Williams issued a press release that read: “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 attacked (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.”