Kentucky bill would make it a crime to insult a police officer – CBS News

A bill moving through Kentucky’s Senate would make it a crime to insult or taunt a police officer during a riot. Supporters say the bill targets people who unlawfully “cross the line” but opponents call it a blatant attempt to crush protests and a violation of First Amendment rights.

Senate Bill 211 mandates up to three months’ imprisonment for a person who “accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words,” or makes “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.”

A person convicted of this misdemeanor charge could also face a $250 fine and be disqualified from public assistance benefits for three months.

The bill also has a provision pushing back on the “defund the police” movement, stating that government entities that fund law enforcement agencies must “maintain and improve their respective financial support.”

The bill advanced through the Senate’s Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection committee on Thursday in a 7-3 vote, with only Republicans supporting it. It now moves to the full Senate and could be passed there as early as next week, and would then need to be passed in the House. Republicans control both chambers of Kentucky’s legislature.

CBS News requested comment from state Senator David Carroll, a Republican and retired police officer who is the bill’s lead sponsor. Following publication of this story, he wrote in an email, “After looking at you’re headline, I don’t think I have anything to say to you. I miss the time when we actually had unbiased journalists!!” [SIC]

Source: Kentucky bill would make it a crime to insult a police officer – CBS News

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