On July 22, 2020, the State Senate Democratic Conference unanimously rejected a Senate Republican Conference amendment aimed at protecting law enforcement officers.
There is increasing concern for those standing on the thin blue line who face increased attacks and animosity while on duty. In a chilling attack in New York City, the NYPD’s highest ranking officer Chief Terence Monahan and other officers were brutally beaten as they protected a pro-police Unity rally with clergy members crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. The suspect who struck Chief Monahan was released without bail. It’s another ‘bail reform’ fail. Anti-police rhetoric is only popularizing these types of attacks in certain segments of society.
While law enforcement officers face increased threat, so does the public across the state where crime is rising as a result of Democrat policies.
The ‘Protect Those Who Protect Us’ package, endorsed by the New York State Sheriff’s Association, would deter violence against law enforcement by increasing penalties on existing crimes and creating new categories of crimes as a result of new types of attacks. It includes:
- Increasing the penalty for resisting arrest to a Class E felony;
- Creating a Class D felony for failing to retreat, if an individual defies an order to move 25 feet while an officer is performing his or her duties;
- Increasing assault on a police officer by one degree for the current crimes pertaining to assault upon a police officer, and make all of them crimes for which a judge could require the posting of bail;
- Creating a Class D felony of Aggravated Harassment of a Police or Peace Officer if an officer is struck by any substance or object including, but not limited to, bottles, rocks, bodily fluids, spittle, urine, seminal fluid, feces, flammable liquids or other noxious, hazardous or dangerous substances or objects;
- Making any crime committed against a police officer because of his or her status as a police officer a hate crime, with the concomitant increase in penalty as is currently provided with respect to hate crimes against members of other protected groups;
- Making it a Class D Felony, to falsely accuse a police officer or peace officer of wrongdoing in the performance of his or her duties, and create a private right of civil action for the officer against the false accuser;
- Making it a Class D Felony to dox a police officer or peace officer because of the officer’s status as a police or peace officer, or to dox any other person because of that person’s relationship to, or affiliation with, a police or peace officer;
- Making it a Class E Felony to follow or surveil a police or peace officer for no legitimate purpose, whether such officer is on or off duty, or to approach within one hundred yards of the private residence or place of lodging of a police officer, without the consent of said officer, for reasons related to the officer’s status or service as a police or peace officer, or for the purpose of intimidating the officer or the officer’s family;
- Providing a $500,000 benefit for police officers who are seriously disabled or die from injuries incurred in the line of duty; and
- Making Police Memorial Day on May 15 a State holiday in honor of the more than 1500 police officers who have died in the line of duty in New York.
After standing with local Sheriffs and police prior to the day’s session, Senate Republicans brought the ‘Protecting Those Who Protect Us Package’ to the Senate floor as an amendment. The Democrat Majority voted unanimously against it.
“Law enforcement officers have one of the most difficult jobs in society and often face life and death situations. The vast majority of these men and women are dedicated public servants, committed to protect our communities. This legislation provides additional support to police officers, sheriff’s deputies, corrections officers and others. It also holds those individuals who target law enforcement officers or interfere with their ability to do their job accountable for their actions,” said Senator Pat Gallivan.
“Never before has it been more dangerous to be a police officer in New York State. The combination of disastrous bail ‘reform’ and the escalation of anti-police protests and violence has only heightened the risks of an already perilous profession. Liberal politicians have only fanned the flames by siding with protestors and, in some cases, caving to outrageous demands to defund the police. Today our Conference took a stand on behalf of our state’s brave law enforcement officers and on behalf of the safety of every citizen in New York State. If our police aren’t safe, none of us are,” said Senator George M. Borrello.