‘Protect Those Who Protect Us’ package of bills voted down in NYS Senate

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State’s Republican Senators put up a new package of bills aimed to protect law enforcement as an amendment on the floor Wednesday, but it was later defeated. 

The legislation is modeled after proposals the New York State Sheriffs’ Association put out a week ago.

“Our ‘Protect Those Who Protect Us’ package, which emanates from and is supported by the 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,” said NYS Senator Daphne Jordan.

Some of the proposals include upping the charges for assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and failure to retreat.

Last year, the state legislature passed bail and discovery reforms. And, in June, several police reform bills went through following the outrage over the killing of George Floyd.

“We, in law enforcement, are not against some of the new legislation and current proposed changes. But, many are severely detrimental to the performance of our duties,” said Saratoga County Undersheriff Richard Castle.

Groups like Citizen Action of New York opposed the Republicans’ package.

“Like I said about the Sheriffs’ bills, it’s a waste of time. It’s them trying to find more ways to criminalize black people, poor people and brown people, and it’s a non-starter for us,” said Citizen Action of New York Political Director Stanley Fritz.

Meanwhile, supporters said they’re concerned about the safety of police officers.

“The public is always free to peacefully protest and to observe police officer encounters and even record them. But these actions should never interfere with the performance of the officer’s duties or place the officer or other members of the community in danger,” Castle said. 

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