Today’s Evidence That We Put People In Power Who Don’t Understand The Bill Of Rights: Kentucky State Senate Bill SB 211




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.

Oh. What?

“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.

And yet Ethics Alarms still can’t award him (and the other dummies who voted for his legislative vomit) an Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month award! Andrew Cuomo’s still Governor!

8 thoughts on “Today’s Evidence That We Put People In Power Who Don’t Understand The Bill Of Rights: Kentucky State Senate Bill SB 211

  1. Also worth pointing out is why the moron proposed this piece of legislation – he’s a former police officer himself.

    Don’t worry, all of you who used to work with him, or in the same field. Danny’s gonna make sure no one says anything mean to you!

  2. Speaking from the perspective of a retired cop, “Stupid!” Surely saner minds will stomp this thing to death in committee, and may it suffer horribly.
    Among the very first instructions given to London constables in 1829 were these:
    “There is no qualification more indispensable to a Police Officer than a perfect command of temper, never suffering himself to be moved in the slightest degree, by any language or threats that may be used…”
    Sound policy (and good ethics) then and now. During my career I was called every name you can imagine and probably some you can’t. I have even been cursed and verbally abused in several foreign languages. A lot of the time it was intentionally provocative. Not once did I respond to speech with violence. That’s Policing 101. The old doctrine of “fighting words” has essentially been dead and buried since before I was a cop. “Contempt of Cop” is not a criminal offense.
    I was trained as a youngster to let that stuff roll off me like water off a duck’s back. Occasionally I had citizens ride along with me on patrol and many times I was asked, “Why do you let people talk to you like that?” I usually just answered, “Sticks and stones….” I actually took pride in deflecting verbal abuse with a smile and a “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am,” repeated as necessary. The result was unpredictable. A fair amount of that verbal brutalization was incident to arrest, so the source of the speech was already on his or her way to the Gray Bar Hotel. Sometimes the source of the harsh verbiage would collect himself or herself and apologize. Sometimes not. Several times the verbal abusers became so enraged by my lack of response or reciprocity that they escalated to physical assault, which was adequate predicate to an arrest. Last time I checked, assault was already against the law in Kentucky, too.
    Anyone unable to bear some harsh language had better find a career field other than policing. A situation involving one out-of-control person is not remedied by adding a second out-of-control person. Police are and should be held to a high standard in this regard.

  3. Should we be surprised? 2020 has seen the rejection of so many freedoms with little backlash.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

    The first amendment has thoroughly been evicerated by the lockdown rules. There is no exceptions for pandemics in the first amendment. Going to church is considered a key component of the exercise of religion, but it hasn’t been permitted.

    • Isn’t THAT the truth! In the light of the way the Left has attacked freedom and liberty, I find it astonishing that Republicans – who (I’m sorry to say) should be smarter that their knee-jerk counterparts on the other side – come up with nonsense such as this. It’s like some of them just can’t wait to help Democrats take away more freedom. I do think this bill probably dies a quick death should it become law, but still…

      And then the Right wonders why Biden/Harris are where they are.

      Senator Carroll, here’s your sign…

  4. I think this is related to the next post. How different is this than hate crime laws or hate speech laws or sexual harassment laws? How many times have we heard that speech is violence but violence isn’t violence? The speech becomes illegal when the listener is offended. How many incidences do we have from the past year when the left attacked the right then the people on the right were charged with a crime because the people on the left were offended? Isn’t this the story of the Proud Boys? Three leftists shot at a teenager, chased him down the street, knocked him down, and admitted trying to kill him. The teenager ALONE was charged even though one of his attackers was a felon in possession of a firearm. This law is what happens when the right gets tired of dealing with the left. This is what happens when the courts ignore the Constitution. This sort of law is pretty commonplace now on the left and accepted. The partisan courts have accepted it. Why wouldn’t the right employ it as well?

  5. Bad law, indeed. But, what is the new deal with the military literally attacking private citizens or members of Congress? First, it was Tucker Carlson. Now, a member of the House. Here is another story:


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