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U.S. Constitution
See other U.S. Constitution Articles

Title: You could end up being behind bars if you annoy a police officer in an upstate NY county
Source: PIX-11, New York
URL Source: https://pix11.com/2019/11/13/you-co ... ficer-in-an-upstate-ny-county/
Published: Nov 14, 2019
Author: Associated Press
Post Date: 2019-11-17 13:09:43 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 349
Comments: 7

ALBANY, N.Y. — People who annoy an officer in one upstate New York county could find themselves facing jail time under a measure recently approved by a county legislature.

Under the Monroe County proposal, a person who annoys, alarms or threatens the personal safety of an officer could be punished with up to a year behind bars and up to a $5,000 fine.

Jamie Anthony, chief of staff for the Monroe County Legislature majority office, said county lawmakers passed the measure on Tuesday in a 17-10 vote. The county executive will hold a public hearing on the legislation and decide whether to approve it, she said.

The legislation also applies to first responders.

Some called the measure unconstitutional.

Iman Abid with the New York Civil Liberties Union said it will have a chilling effect on complaints against police. Abid said she is also concerned over what the legislation could mean for communities of color.

“Members of the community have every right to challenge police officers, particularly those that engage in unnecessary behavior,” she said in a statement. “At a time when more accountability of police departments is needed, this law takes us incredibly backward.”

In a statement last month, County Legislator Kara Halstead said she was proud to support legislation that “looks after those who look out for us.”

“This local law aims to crack down on behaviors of disrespect and incivility toward law enforcement and first responders in the hopes that these smaller incidents do not escalate,” she said in the statement.

A news release on the legislation also gave mention to people dousing uniformed New York Police Department officers with water.

Delores Jones-Brown, professor emerita at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said courts have found that the use of the words annoying or alarming in statue is overbroad and unconstitutionally vague.

The legislation, she said, could create a situation where people are scared to exercise their First Amendment rights. An officer could be annoyed by a person who asks them their badge number or who records them with a cellphone while on the job, Jones-Brown said.

“This statue definitely has the capacity to make people afraid to do that,” she said.

Jones-Brown added that a portion of the measure could survive a legal challenge — a section tied to conduct that threatens the personal safety of a police officer. Courts have found threats easier to define, she said, but they are not completely beyond interpretation.

Under the legislation, a prosecutor would have to prove that it was a person’s intent to threaten an officer’s personal safety, she said.

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Begin Trace Mode for Comment # 4.

#1. To: Deckard (#0)

An officer could be annoyed by a person who asks them their badge number or who records them with a cellphone while on the job

Yeah. There you go. That's what prompted the legislation.

misterwhite  posted on  2019-11-17   15:19:33 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: misterwhite, Deckard (#1)

An officer could be annoyed by a person who asks them their badge number or who records them with a cellphone while on the job

Yeah. There you go. That's what prompted the legislation.

The proposed law passed the county legislature 17-10 on 12 Nov 2019. I have yet to see where this has been enacted into law by the county executive.

Intro. No. 297

LOCAL LAW NO. ____ OF 2019

ENACTING LOCAL LAW ENTITLED “PROHIBITED HARASSMENT OF A POLICE OFFICER, PEACE OFFICER OR FIRST RESPONDER IN MONROE COUNTY”

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF MONROE COUNTY, as follows:

Section 1. A person is guilty of harassing a police officer, peace officer or first responder when he or she intentionally engages in conduct against a police officer, peace officer or first responder, that intends to annoy, alarm or threaten the personal safety of the police officer, peace officer or first responder.

Section 2. The action must occur when such police officer, peace officer or first responder is in the course of performing his or her official duties and the person committing such act knows or reasonably should know that such person is a police officer, peace officer or first responder.

Section 3. Violation of this law shall consutute an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to S5,000.00.

Section 4. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this law or the application thereof to any person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance shall be adjudged by any court of competent junsdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this law, or in its application to the person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance directly invoked in the controversy in which such order or judgment shall be rendered.

Section 5. This local law shall take effect immediately upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State.

Matter of Urgency
File No. 19-0240.LL

ADOPTION: Date:
Vote:

ACTION BY THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
APPROVED: VETOED:
SIGNATURE: DATE:
EFFECTIVE DATE OF LOCAL LAW: _____________

What prompted the proposed law was expressed by its sponsors, Karla F. Boyce (District 5) and Kara C. Halstead (District 18).

October 8, 2019

To the Honorable
Monroe County Legislature
407 County Office Building
Rochester NY, 14614

Subject: Enacting Local Law Entitled "Prohibited Harassment of a Police Officer, Peace Officer or First Responder in Monroe County"

Honorable Legislators:

First Responders are vital members in our community. Each day they go to work and serve the residents of our community while risking their lives and keeping us safe. They often miss weekends, holidays and many of the events that we take for granted in order to protect the greater good. Their public service should be commended and respected.

Unfortunately, in Monroe County and across the State we are hearing stories of Police Officers and other First Responders being attacked or otherwise put in danger by members of the public. Just last month, an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) worker responded to a roadside incident and was bitten by two persons that the EMS worker tried to help. And across the State, we have heard reports of civilians throwing water at on-duty police officers.

Here in Monroe County, we have the opportunity to be leaders and to stand with our First Responders who protect residents each and every day. We believe it is imperative for Monroe County to make it clear that we will not stand for any interference in the work of our Police Officers and other First Responders. We must strive to keep our Police Officers and other First Responders safe and free from needless distractions, so that in turn, they can continue to keep us safe.

Therefore, we propose favorable action from the Monroe County Legislature to put in place additional protections for our Police Officers, Peace Officers and First Responders. Under this law, a violation will constitute an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000.00.

The specific legislative action required is

1. Schedule and hold a Public Hearing on the proposed Local Law.

2. Enact a Local Law entitled "Prohibited Harassment of a Police Officer, Peace Officer or First Responder in Monroe County."

This Local Law will have no impact on the revenues or expenditures of the current Monroe County Budget.

We recommend that this matter receive favorable action by Your Honorable Body.

Sincerely,

Karla F. Boyce
Monroe County Legislature
District 5

Kara C. Halstead
Monroe County Legislature
District 5

nolu chan  posted on  2019-11-17   23:33:07 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


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