The Bill, if it became law, would make it a crime to insult a police officer if the words or gestures provoked a violent response. It would be class B misdemeanor, punishable up to 90 days in prison, when someone “accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words, or by gestures or other physical contact, that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response from the perspective of a reasonable and prudent person.”
This potential law (actually, it isn’t even potential because the thing would be unconstitutional and a First Amendment breach the second it was passed and signed) is one of the most embarrassing pieces of legislative garbage I have seen in a very long time. It essentially says that if a citizen is so darn mean to a police officer by saying nasty things or making scary faces, and the officer is so unprofessional, incompetent and badly trained that he or she commits violent battery, the victim of the cop’s attack can be locked up! Brilliant!
Let’s look at the relevant section of the Bill of Rights, shall we? You know, that old document they apparently don’t teach in Kentucky schools and that applies to the States through the 14th Amendment? The one progressives don’t like?
“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech…“
This isn’t hard, or shouldn’t be, even for Kentuckians. (My father grew up in Kentucky.) When a law says “you can be imprisoned for saying things that a police officer finds offensive” that’s abridging free speech. What ignoramus composed this monstrosity?
He is State Senator Danny Carroll, (R-Benton), who says the bill is in response to the riots in Louisville last summer (There is another Breonna Taylor demonstration going on in Louisville right now) and on Capitol Hill in D.C.
“This (bill) is not about lawful protest in any way, shape, form, or fashion,” Carroll says. “This country was built on lawful protest and it’s something we must maintain our citizens’ right to do so. What this deals with are those who cross the line and commit criminal acts,” he said.
Oh! You’re an idiot, then! Got it! Thanks, Danny! Here’s a pinwheel to play with!
The law this fool has proposed would make criminal things that currently are not: accosting, insulting, taunting, or challenging a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words or gestures, so the law isn’t about those “who cross the line and commit criminal acts” since those acts are not currently criminal, and the First Amendment is very clear that no law can make them criminal. You can show a middle finger to a police officer. You can call him an asshole. You can call him a “nigger.” You can call him a “motherfucker.” You can call him Poopy McPigface. You can infuriate him, mock him, or make him cry: he or she still cannot become violent, and if that officer does, it is the officer, not the citizen, who is breaking the law.
And it will have to stay that way. The First Amendment says so.
The part that criminalizes “other physical contact” is not a free speech violation, it’s just so vague that it is unenforceable. Good LAW, Danny! So creative! Would you like a puppy?
Kentucky should be made to go and sit with Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and California, wearing a dunce cap for electing someone like this.