Albany, NY — Senate Democrats today unanimously rejected a Senate Republican Conference amendment to protect law enforcement officers, who face increased attacks and animosity while on duty thanks to pervasive anti-police rhetoric and pro-criminal policies like bail reform and defunding the police.
In a chilling attack in New York City, the NYPD’s highest-ranking officer Chief Terence Monahan and other officers were brutally beaten as they protected a pro-police Unity rally with clergy members crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. The suspect who struck Chief Monahan was released without bail.
While law enforcement officers face increased threat, so does the public across the state where crime is rising as a result of Democrat policies.
The ‘Protect Those Who Protect Us’ package, endorsed by the New York State Sheriff’s Association, would deter violence against law enforcement by increasing penalties on existing crimes and creating new categories of crimes as a result of new types of attacks. It includes:
· Increasing the penalty for resisting arrest to a Class E felony;
· Creating a Class D felony for failing to retreat, if an individual defies an order to move 25 feet while an officer is performing his or her duties;
· Increasing assault on a police officer by one degree for the current crimes pertaining to assault upon a police officer, and make all of them crimes for which a judge could require the posting of bail;
· Creating a Class D felony of Aggravated Harassment of a Police or Peace Officer if an officer is struck by any substance or object including, but not limited to, bottles, rocks, bodily fluids, spittle, urine, seminal fluid, feces, flammable liquids or other noxious, hazardous or dangerous substances or objects;
· Making any crime committed against a police officer because of his or her status as a police officer a hate crime, with the concomitant increase in penalty as is currently provided with respect to hate crimes against members of other protected groups;
· Making it a Class D Felony, to falsely accuse a police officer or peace officer of wrongdoing in the performance of his or her duties, and create a private right of civil action for the officer against the false accuser;
· Making it a Class D Felony to dox a police officer or peace officer because of the officer’s status as a police or peace officer, or to dox any other person because of that person’s relationship to, or affiliation with, a police or peace officer;
· Making it a Class E Felony to follow or surveil a police or peace officer for no legitimate purpose, whether such officer is on or off duty, or to approach within one hundred yards of the private residence or place of lodging of a police officer, without the consent of said officer, for reasons related to the officer’s status or service as a police or peace officer, or for the purpose of intimidating the officer or the officer’s family;
· Providing a $500,000 benefit for police officers who are seriously disabled or die from injuries incurred in the line of duty; and
· Making Police Memorial Day on May 15 a State holiday in honor of the more than 1500 police officers who have died in the line of duty in New York.
After standing with local Sheriffs and police prior to the day’s session, Senate Republicans brought the ‘Protecting Those Who Protect Us Package’ to the Senate floor as an amendment. The Democrat Majority voted unanimously against it.
“Democrat silence on the violence towards police is unconscionable. Their vote today against protecting law enforcement who are assaulted on the job sends the wrong message. Republicans want the public to know that we will always protect those who protect us. Democrats have defied common sense by creating an environment where law enforcement is under attack and violence on residents is skyrocketing. We will continue to advance this important package of bills,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.
“Our Senate Republican ‘Protect Those Who Protect Us’ package, which emanates from and is supported by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, would deter violence against law enforcement by increasing penalties on existing crimes and creating new categories of crimes because of new types of attacks. Sadly, we’ve seen our best and bravest endure acts of violence, threats, and attempted intimidation. Police officers have been punched, kicked, shot, stabbed, and hit with bottles, bricks, and brass knuckles. They’ve had rocks, Molotov Cocktails, and every disgusting insult imaginable hurled at them. Each time, the Blue Line has stood strong. Now’s the time for state government to stand with and speak up on behalf of the courageous men and women of law enforcement, and show them that we will always have their backs,” Senator Daphne Jordan said.
“Law enforcement officers have one of the most difficult jobs in society and often face life and death situations. The vast majority of these men and women are dedicated public servants, committed to protect our communities. This legislation provides additional support to police officers, sheriff's deputies, corrections officers, and others. It also holds those individuals who target law enforcement officers or interfere with their ability to do their job accountable for their actions,” said Senator Gallivan.
“Author George Orwell once said that in a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. The only folks telling the truth about the lawlessness and disorder on our streets and disrespect for our police is the Senate Republican Conference. Safety is job one for any government in any society. Today, the Governor and other elected Democrats are failing in that basic duty. Why? Fear. Fear that standing up for the rule of law will lead to criticism from the mob and condemnation from the radical left. We are not afraid because we know that support for equality and law and order are not mutually exclusive. We understand that the overwhelming majority of our police are doing great work in our communities and that they deserve our respect and our support. This package of bills provides law enforcement with the protection and the tools they need to restore order to our communities. As we see violent crime on the rise all across the state, will the Senate Democrats stand with us and protect their constituents or will they continue to placate the nihilists on our streets?” said Senator Rich Funke.
“We depend on the dedicated, compassionate, and courageous men and women of law enforcement to keep our communities safe. They have a difficult job when they leave home to go to work every day and put their lives on the line to protect the public and keep us safe. We can’t allow open season on our law enforcement and first responders by those who want to inflict violence, mayhem, and anarchy,” said Senator Jim Tedisco.
“Everyday New York’s law-abiding citizens are waking up to see the chaos and lawlessness willfully created and supported by Albany’s One Party Rule. Every day they watch as more New Yorkers needlessly lose their lives and hardworking police officers are vilified and abandoned by our leaders and physically attacked by criminals with no consequences. Unless One Party Rule wakes up from this nightmare that they themselves have created, the voters will surely deliver the wakeup call One Party Rule deserves on Election Day,” said Senator Fred Akshar.
“We cannot sit back and simply accept and tolerate the ongoing attacks on the men and women in law enforcement serving to protect our communities and neighborhoods. They are risking their lives every day and every night, in an increasingly hostile environment throughout this state, to do their best to keep us safe from violent criminals who have no respect whatsoever for the law or for other lives. We have to take these steps to let our police officers know that we stand with them and that we have their backs, as well as to ensure that we are doing everything possible to prevent a complete breakdown of our society. There’s a welcome place for peaceful protests to highlight unconscionable wrongs, but there can be no tolerance for shootings, destructive looting, and the attacks on the officers who are fundamental to public safety and security,” said Senator Tom O’Mara.
“Public safety is a primary responsibility for government. New Laws and policies enacted by Democrats have led to unprecedented crime waves in our State. Democrats have now taken aim at our police instead of those who are victimizing people from one end of the state to the other. We Republicans advance these public safety bills in support of our police because if we don’t protect our police they will not be able to protect us,” said Senator Andrew Lanza.
“Starting with last year’s disastrous bail reform measures, Albany has turned its back not only on law enforcement but on vulnerable victims time and time again. We have a duty to make public safety a top priority, and that starts by supporting those who selflessly sign up to serve and protect our communities. Now more than ever, we need to set politics aside and work together to promote unity in our communities, and that starts by promoting peace, putting an end to the violence and supporting those who go above and beyond to support victims and protect our communities,” said Senator Sue Serino.
“We see every day how law enforcement officials in New York State and throughout our country are coming under increasing threats and violence. There is nothing more important than passing these measures immediately to protect the professionals who protect us,” said Senator Phil Boyle.
“I am deeply disappointed that the Senate Majority rejected this amendment to protect our law enforcement. This increase in violence is extremely troubling. Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect us — we must also work to protect them,” said Senator Mike Ranzenhofer.
“Our police officers are dedicated, hardworking men and women, they take their oath to protect and serve to heart, and they are vital to keeping our communities safe. In turn, it is crucial that we stand up for our law enforcement professionals and ensure they are not the targets of violence. The legislation I co-sponsored would have made New York safer and the ‘no’ votes from Senate Democrats are unconscionable. When police come under physical attack and nothing is done, it leaves all of us vulnerable,” said Senator James L. Seward.
“Never before has it been more dangerous to be a police officer in New York State. The combination of disastrous bail 'reform' and the escalation of anti-police protests and violence has only heightened the risks of an already perilous profession. Liberal politicians have only fanned the flames by siding with protestors and, in some cases, caving to outrageous demands to defund the police. Today our Conference took a stand on behalf of our state’s brave law enforcement officers and on behalf of the safety of every citizen in New York State. If our police aren’t safe, none of us are,” said Senator George M. Borrello.
“As State Senator, I am proud to stand with our sheriffs, chiefs, deputies, and officers. Police and correction officers deserve our thanks and appreciation. They had an incredibly difficult and dangerous job even before bail reform, which has only compounded these challenges. They and their families deserve our respect, and one way we can show this is by increasing benefits for officers injured in the line of duty,” said Senator Pam Helming.
“New York’s law enforcement personnel put their lives on the line each and every day. It is important that we find ways to ensure that they can do their job safely,” said Senator Joe Griffo.