Bill would basically allow police to arrest based on their own subjective impulses
June 6, 2013
Lawmakers in New York may have jumped the shark with their latest police protection bill.
New York Senate Bill 2402 would effectively make it a class E felony to “annoy” so-called peace officers.
The bill, in part, reads:
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.
According to WIVB, Sen. Joe Griffo, one of the original sponsors of the bill, defended it and the all-important police state arguing, “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.”
Besides the otherwise lame attempt to justify a bill that in essence gives police free rein to claim physical annoyance, there is no actual explanation given for creating such a bill.
If signed into law, offenders would be subjected to the same penalties as other class E felonies like “placing a false bomb or hazardous substance” in a public place, and “riot in the first degree.” This is the lowest felony charge in New York, but can still carry a penalty of up to 4 years imprisonment, depending on the judge’s decision.
Given the fact that police almost universally disapprove of those who dare film them, little effort is needed to imagine them citing the bill’s content as justification for their arrest of citizen journalists like We Are Change’s Luke Rudkowski, who routinely gets into confrontations with police, or our own intrepid Infowars reporter Dan Bidondi, who it could be argued “harassed” authorities at the Boston Marathon press conferences when they had to physically touch him.
In addition, the bill virtually welcomes and protects police who would provoke citizens into any kind of spat, as, under the vague language of the bill, any physical “harassment” can be deemed unlawful.
RT also noted how questionable laws were increasingly being cited by police in their own defense, noting the example of New York homeowner Emily Good, who was arrested by police in Rochester “while standing in her yard and videotaping police officers who were performing a traffic stop in front of her house.”
“When Good insisted on her right to stand in her yard, she was arrested, handcuffed, and taken away in a police car. She was later charged with obstructing governmental administration.” Police told Good they didn’t feel safe with her standing behind them recording.
Recently we also witnessed a 14-year-old in Florida get slammed to the ground and put in a choke hold for what amounted to little more than throwing police “dehumanizing stares.”
In essence, the bill, if passed, would allow police to arrest according to their own subjective impulses.