Yet another drastic Bill that sides with uniformed authority and is currently working it’s way through the State Legislature, aims to criminalise anyone who “annoys” a police officer and grant the ‘justification’ to incarcerate them for up to four years. The Bill (S.2402) specifically states that it would be a felony to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm a police officer while on duty” yet the terms “harass” “annoy” and “alarm” are (no doubt intentionally) very vague and open to interpretation and so could easily be exploited by overzealous officers in order to silence those rightfully questioning their authority or lawfully exercising their constitutional rights when being harassed themselves.
Senator Joe Griffo, who is one of those sponsoring the senseless Bill, has ingratiatingly said that “Police officers who risk their lives everyday 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”.
Now, I may be wrong in thinking this but if you currently threaten or injure a police officer on duty, you’re hardly immune from such actions and are still more than likely going to “pay a price” (usually by having the entire magazine of a Glock 9mm unloaded into your head) and so this hints that the Bill actually has very little, if anything, to do with protecting police officers from ‘harm’ and instead has far more to do with protecting them from the repercussions of their oppressive acts.
Police officers already have all the protection they could possibly need (and more) to perform their duties in an adequately secure manner, yet the threat of danger can never be fully eliminated as it is an undeniable aspect of the job, a job, remember, that all police officers willingly signed up for and consciously chose to undertake themselves.
This new Bill, as with most others currently being passed, is really about the continued consolidation of control. Currently, we have the right to speak to police officers on duty and to lawfully question their motives should we believe they may be abusing their powers but if this Bill becomes ‘law’, although that right will still ‘technically’ exist, it will make it far easier for intolerant officers to avoid having to answer to those they are supposed to be serving, by using the excuse that they are being “harassed” or “annoyed”. It’s a very simple but potentially highly effective ploy from the perspective of those in control.