START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,283,612 people care about Politics

‘Annoying’ The Police Could Soon Land You In Jail

‘Annoying’ The Police Could Soon Land You In Jail

Thanks to a bill recently passed by the New York Senate, attracting a cop’s attention could soon earn you way more than some unwanted questioning.

The bill, S.2402, was sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo (R – 47th District) and seeks to make it a felony to annoy a police officer. No joke. Here’s the official language:

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.

In a world where there was never reason to bring grievances against an out-of-line government, the above rule might make sense, but that’s not the world in which we live.

During the height of the Occupy protests in New York City nearly two years ago, an international audience got a firsthand look at what the New York Police Department thinks about people who speak out against the status quo. “New York’s Finest” were responsible for beatings, theft and destruction of property, the wrongful arrest of hundreds and multiple violations of human and civil rights.

Rather than acknowledging the culture of violence and intolerance that permeates its law enforcement, the state of New York wants to make it even easier for an office to infringe upon our Constitutional right to peaceful protest.

When talking and petition signing fail to get the attention of our “representatives,” it is within the rights of every American to take direct action. There being no value in violent action, Occupy protesters and others have utilized creative protest ideas like sit-ins, reading books in front of police barricades, photographing/video taping police raids, hugging and giving flowers to officers–all of which could be considered “annoying” but are certainly not crimes. Yet.

What has been proposed by Sen. Griffo is yet another legislative attack on our right to voice criticism against the powers that be. In early 2012, Congress quietly passed what many called “the Anti-Occupy Law“. This Act makes it a federal crime to “willfully and knowingly” enter a restricted space. It also makes it illegal to protest anywhere the Secret Service “is or will be temporarily visiting,” or anywhere they might be guarding someone. Even if you didn’t know, because, well, it was a secret. President Obama signed the legislation into law without batting an eye.

Even the right to photograph or video tape the actions of a uniformed police officer on duty in the middle of the street was recently challenge. Though the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that action as legal, who’s to say that New York law enforcement won’t find it “annoying” and haul you off to jail anyway?

Then there’s the long-suffering issue of racial profiling. NYC’s controverisal “stop and frisk” policy already gives officers a green light to harass those who seem “suspicious.” As RT reports, “Recent testimony by several New York police officers in connection to a lawsuit allege that the department regularly targets young black men and other minorities, which are judged by an arbitrary notion of ‘reasonable suspicion.’”

The article goes on to state that, statistically, stop and frisk procedures reveal that white people are more likely to be carrying a weapon, but that doesn’t stop the NYPD. Stop and frisk used to mean an unwarranted shake down, but now, just the wrong look could “annoy” or “threaten” and officer, and thanks to this new law, the suspect could go to jail even if no drugs or weapons are found.

Griffo and his supporters in law enforcement claim that consequences “are way too low” for those would would impede a police officer’s duty, even if there’s no physical harm, and that current laws send “the wrong message to the public.”

What message does harassment, beating, arresting and trampling on the rights of otherwise peaceful Americans send?

 

Read more: , , , , , ,

Image via Thinkstock

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

184 comments

+ add your own
2:24PM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

the system is so flawed. we need an overhaul

7:58PM PDT on Jun 30, 2013

NYPD and the New York government are dead anyway, somebody should put them out of their misery.

6:51AM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

Are we headed for another Kent State kind of thing?If peaceful protesters are attacked because of some aggitators among them, who may be plants from the police, so they then 'have an excuse' to arrest the peaceful ones to clear them out, who will take responsibility for chargeing the police with criminal behavior? And where do the conceal and carry gun people come down on this?

4:32AM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

The police annoy me. Can I arrest them? The whole system is so unbalanced in favor of the police that they can get away with anything.

9:21PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

@ Ken W ~~ who are your 2%? da 2% my friend is Bloomberg, all your rich liberals so your "liberal" peeps are f'ing you just as hard as the people you think you hate and harder because they are slowly eroding all of your rights....you will still be able to do what you want but you will be taxed up the a$$

9:16PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

the occupy "protests" turned into people breaking the law ...for what purpose? to annoy regular people by stopping traffic and really annoy police people by distracting them from doing their job,

protesters protesting with no "real" purpose need to GROW UP get a JOB/LIFE stop being really annoying people and do something that really makes a difference.

I wish people would find a way to be responsible....

1:45PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

I think that "annoy" is far too vague a term for something like this. I find people with squeaky or "baby" voices annoying. If I were an officer could I arrest them?

1:05PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

So many people think that they can do whatever they want and not take responsibility for it. They want attention, but yell and scream when they get it. Humans attitudes have gone from 'helping your neighbor' to 'helping only yourself'. Cops have tough jobs where they need to make a life/death decision in a split second. I agree with this law. Why stoop so low to annoy an officer? You aren't making the officer look like a fool, you are only making yourself look like one. There are way too many people in this world and I have no problem with taking the criminals and menances out.

11:52AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

With the NYC police department's history of corruption, more rules giving them absolute power is a horrible idea. Yesterday the Mafia, today the corporations. They're all the same, only some dress up better than the other.

10:03AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

scary...

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

I've been weeping tears of joy over the last few weeks as these awful delistings have been struck down,…

Shared and signed, charge the shooters, stupid so and so hunters

meet our writers

Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.