Yesterday the New York state Senate passed Bill S.2402, which officially makes it illegal to "annoy" police officers. Now the bill must go on to the State Assembly.
"Annoying" or "harassing" a police officer would be a "Class E" felony, which, in the eyes of New York State, is equal to aggravated assault upon a person less than 11 years of old, female genital mutilation, promoting a suicide attempt, and cemetery desecration, among other laws. There is no specification in the law as to what will be considered "annoying" or "harassing" an officer besides "subjecting them to physical contact."
The sponsor of the bill is Republican State Senator Joseph Griffo who represents New York's 47th district. The Justification of the bill is given as:
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
This will be a controversial law, especially in New York City where the NYPD has garnered a lot of criticism for its use of the "Stop and Frisk" tactics. There is no way to tell now how this law will affect "Stop and Frisk" or the ongoing NYC protests associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
You can read the full text of the bill here:
S 240.33 AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT OF A POLICE OFFICER OR PEACE OFFICER.
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.
AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT OF A POLICE OFFICER OR PEACE OFFICER IS A CLASS
S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.