Nassau County Executive Vetoes Bill That Would Punish People For Making Cops Feel Bad

from the but-an-underlying-problem-remains dept

Good news in Nassau County, New York. The stupid law that turned not being sufficiently deferential to cops (or other first responders) into a quasi-hate crime has been rejected by the head of Nassau County's government, accompanied by a message to the stupid legislators who passed it. (via Michael Vario)

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran on Tuesday vetoed a bill to give police and other first responders the right to sue under the county Human Rights Law when they face "discrimination" from protesters or others.

[...]

In her veto letter to lawmakers, Curran acknowledged the "genuine concern" of community members "that the law would intimidate free citizens from engaging in peaceful demonstrations without fear of retaliation."

Citing an opinion from state Attorney General Letitia James, Curran pointed out the obvious: the new bill -- which criminalized "harassing" first responders (but really mostly cops) -- didn't have a chance in hell of surviving a constitutional challenge, especially when it tied increased legal penalties to acts occurring during "riots" (even if the person charged was not actually rioting).

Curran continued: "There is no consensus among elected officials and the public that this current legislation is necessary, carefully crafted and without negative consequences."

Well, there was enough of a consensus the bill was passed by a margin of 12-6. That the consensus is wrong about the bill's necessity and the quality of the craftsmanship is the larger problem and it indicates there will be similar proposals in the future, especially since local law enforcement can't seem to be disabused of the notion that a career choice isn't an immutable characteristic worthy of protection from discrimination.

Of course, police unions are still complaining about this completely expected turn of events.

“First responders are sometimes treated as second class citizens, Jennifer,” Nassau PBA board member Thomas O’Reilly told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan. “We feel very hurtful about that. We thought this was a good bill.

Odd that a cop rep would admit to "feeling hurtful" about events that didn't go their way. Seems inadvertently revealing.

But notice that the only first responders unions complaining are those representing cops. People have no problem with EMTs and firefighters -- first responders who almost never subject people to excessive force or rights violations. The whining from the Police Benevolent Association continues:

“We shouldn’t be spit on. We shouldn’t have water thrown on us. We shouldn’t be intimidated and harassed and people blowing smoke in our face,” O’Reilly said.

OH MY GOD. How do your officers even cope with actually dangerous criminals, who are capable of far more than making them feel wet or otherwise mildly uncomfortable?

The bigger problem is a law already on the books which will encourage legislators who think the PBA makes good points to keep plugging away at expanding protection of police officers at the expense of the rights of the people they serve.

The Legislature in 2019 extended protections against discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations to veterans and first responders.

That's the foot that will remain in the legislative door until that one finally comes off the books. As long as it remains, it will be exploited by opportunists who somehow believe cops just don't have enough power or protections.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, discrimination, free speech, nassau county, police


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 16 Aug 2021 @ 1:30pm

    So glad I got the extended warranty...

    “We shouldn’t be spit on. We shouldn’t have water thrown on us. We shouldn’t be intimidated and harassed and people blowing smoke in our face,” O’Reilly said.

    And my hypocrisy meter just exploded, thanks O'Reilly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2021 @ 2:58pm

      Re: So glad I got the extended warranty...

      Actually, I agree. People shouldn't throw waters on others (except maybe in a mutually agreed water fight), spit on others or blow smoke in their faces. Just as they shouldn't fire tear gas grenades at peaceful protesters, fire rubber bullets at reporter's faces, forcefully eject people from a church grounds that the local clergy don't want ejected, illegally force their way into buildings and attack and injure the police who are only trying to do their jobs - I could go on, but I'm sure you get my drift.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 16 Aug 2021 @ 3:39pm

        It was a glass house but nary a wall is left standing

        In general I'd agree but having a bloody police union complain that their members are being 'intimidated and harassed' because people are throwing water on them and blowing smoke in their faces is like listening to a person you just watched punch someone in the face simply because they felt like it and who has a long history of assaults complain about how hurtful it is when people call them names like 'violent thug'.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 16 Aug 2021 @ 3:18pm

      Re: So glad I got the extended warranty...

      Frankly, a police officer who needs more protection against intimidation than the general populace most definitely has chosen the wrong job for themselves. That's sort of like a florist with hay fever complaining about plants in his workspace.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 17 Aug 2021 @ 2:58pm

      Re: So glad I got the extended warranty...

      Interestingly, all of those things (except possibly intimidation) are already illegal. Maybe the cops should be asked why they need a new, redundant law. Can they not be bothered to just enforce the old ones?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 16 Aug 2021 @ 2:19pm

    “We feel very hurtful"

    Yes, yes you are and so is your bill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Aug 2021 @ 6:01pm

    "even if the person charged was not actually rioting"

    Because its easier to just label a group & then treat them like a monolith where the blame is shared by all, even if they did nothing.

    Something something PBA PR hacks screaming not all cops, while claiming everyone at a BLM march was armed and trying to kill cops.

    "“We feel very hurtful about that. We thought this was a good bill.”"

    Bitch you have QI, stop crying. You literally can murder someone on the street, in front of cameras & witnesses and STILL somehow manage to walk away... boo hoo hoo you can't sue when someone calls you a fscking pig.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2021 @ 6:01pm

    “First responders are sometimes treated as second class citizens, Jennifer,”

    Which universe is that in? Did you just leak over from some parallel dimension or what? Here's a tip: Stay here, where cops are zeroth-class citizens (who don't even consider themselves civilians!). They have loads of extra rights, excessive powers, and almost no responsibility whatsoever. Enjoy!

    “We shouldn’t be spit on. We shouldn’t have water thrown on us. We shouldn’t be intimidated and harassed and people blowing smoke in our face,” O’Reilly said.

    Hey, no one should have to suffer that. But welcome to Earth, and welcome to one of many professions which pose a generally higher risk of coming into contact with such behavior. (When we aren't totally lying about how much that actually happens, or specific incidents of those things happening.)

    But if you would care for wider public support when you are treated abusively, try doing a better job, in the spirit of the story we've created around "serve and protect", and stop being so goddamned abusive of the public, and in ways the public could never be abusive toward you. Also, stop ignoring covering for, and defending unto the end, cops, and cop behaviors and culture which engender such abuse, if you are "one of the good ones". (I realize it is hard to stand up against them when the whole system of bastards is arrayed against you, even if you are on the inside.) But your near the top, on the PBA board, so...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2021 @ 11:40pm

    I think the most common instance where a firefighter or EMT violates someone's rights is when the police demand they inject someone with a sedative and they comply without question.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    David W (profile), 17 Aug 2021 @ 2:01am

    Defamation of a civil servant

    In Germany, this already exists, but the civil servants (including police & first responders, as well as council and federal services workers) can't sue, it is an offence and you face court and a fine.

    It used to be a very big thing, but nowadays, many police officers will let small slights slide, but anyone being really obnoxious can find themselves being issued with a ticket. If you say something in the heat of the moment, then apologise straight away, you will probably get away with it. But be stroppy and keep calling the official a tosser etc. and they will probably issue you with a ticket.

    Attacking police, spitting, shoving etc. comes under assault, AFAIK.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Aug 2021 @ 2:10am

    Said it before, kinda sayin’ it again: When cops seem to have less restraint than retail workers in the face of shitty behavior by the general public, what does that say about the cops?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 17 Aug 2021 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      Well, do the retail workers carry guns? I guess the principal difference is that the retail worker depends on your cooperation to get your money while the cop gets it upfront. The retail worker does one-off jobs to serve you while the cop is hired and gets a salary.

      Maybe you should rethink your hiring strategy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2021 @ 1:40pm

        Re: Re:

        No the difference is if that retail worker does anything wrong they get fired. Actual children working at McDonald's are held to higher conduct standards than law enforcement.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ceyarrecks (profile), 17 Aug 2021 @ 7:49am

    How typical that there are those who do not want the Mall Cops to cry/whine/whimper/tantrum when their feewings are hurt,...

    Considering king David, you know, that man after God's own heart, was NOT "protected" from feeling bad when he had killed whatshername's husband so he could continue screwing her,...

    Consider also it is our realization of the wrongs we do, that bring us to STOP doing those wrongs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Aug 2021 @ 2:17pm

    When will it get into these people's heads that cop isn't a protected class?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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