Otherwise known as the “cops can now arrest anyone at any time” law.
Well, this could be a mess: the New York State Senate passed a bill today that makes annoying a police officer a felony, punishable by up to four years in prison. Meaning, punching a cop—albeit with tiny, ineffectual fists—might soon be on par with poking one a few times, or stepping on an officer’s heels while walking behind him. That’s the annoying-est.
The bill, which was sponsored by upstate State Senator Joe Griffo (R), only applies to physical contact, so you’re still free to hum “99 Bottles of Beer” while in a cop’s vicinity. But the proposed legislation—which states one is guilty of “aggravated harassment” of an officer when “with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm…he or she strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects such a person to physical contact”—still seems like a dip into Thought Police territory.
“This bill will be so arbitrarily and capriciously applied to people that it is senseless,” Stacey Richman, a criminal defense attorney, told us.