New York Lawmaker Wants It To Be A Felony To ‘Annoy’ A Cop


The New York State Senate has passed a bill that would make it illegal for people in the State to “annoy” police officers; critics believe the bill, if passed by the State’s other legislative body, will enable police to abuse their power.

The bill, sponsored by Republican State Senator Joe Griffo, would make it a felony offense to “harass, annoy, or threaten a police officer while on duty.”

“Our system of laws is established to protect the foundations of our society,” Griffo said. “Police officers who risk their lives every day in our cities and on our highways deserve every possible protection, and those who treat them with disrespect, harass them and create situations that can lead to injuries deserve to pay a price for their actions.”

The lawmaker believes “too many people in our society have lost the respect they need to have for a police officer.”

The bill does state that in order for the harassment charge to be levied, a police officer would have to feel physically threatened by his heckler.

From the bill:


Police officers in the State have lauded the bill.

“Professionally, I am grateful to see this bill pass through the Senate. Our police officers have a very dangerous job and need the support of our government leaders to help make them safe,” said Utica Police Department Chief Mark Williams. “All too often persons are physically challenging police officers in the line of duty. Currently in those instances where an officer is physically attack (short of sustaining a physical injury) the lawful charge is only a violation.”

While the physical threat aspect of the bill seems clear, many people have cited police incidents in which officers manufactured a threat in order to use heavy handed tactics. One recent example is that of the encounter a hearing-impaired Washington woman had with police when she was pulled over for allegedly using her cell phone while driving. When her disability kept her from hearing an officer’s orders and she jerked away when he grabbed her wrist, another cop promptly delivered a hefty beat down while shouting “Stop resisting!”, a phrase officers seem to love in those sorts of situations.

Perhaps in New York, cops will soon have a new phrase to shout as they bludgeon residents: Stop annoying me!

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • Harold Olsen

    Will they define exactly what constitutes annoying a cop? I doubt it. They’ll keep it so vague that a cop will be able to arrest people just because they cop doesn’t like the way a person is dressed, or combs his hair or anything about someone he doesn’t like. Who knows? Being of another race may be annoying to some cops and an arrest will be made. When a cop arrests someone for annoying them, will the cop have to state what the person did that annoyed him? Probably not!

    • vicki

      And as an extra plus for the anti-gun crowd you get a felony record. No more legal gun ownership.

  • $9913635

    What else you expect? You give a guy a hammer and everything begins to look like a nail.

    Ever wonder why lawyers like to be politicians??? No wonder Shakespeare said let’s first kill all the lawyers. Even Jesus complained how they made laws for the burden of everyone else except the ones who made the law.

  • Carl-Cathy Wisnesky

    Are they crazy? This will put cops in greater danger. Rather than get hauled in on a felony, a person, especially if intoxicated or a bit high, might try to get away by doing something stupid like trying to kill the cop.
    How about the innocent person that gets shoved into a cop by someone who has a grudge against that person in order to get him/her into trouble. The forced contact could then be a felony under this law. There are other countless ways this can be used and abused by both police and other people out for revenge against a person.
    Here is just another reason to stay out of NY. This will be abused by the police for entrapment of citizens.

  • bernie newcomer

    Mark Williams and Joe Griffo have outlined the reason why people dislike the cops and bad elected leaders. It is about them AGAINST us. Williams said cops need the support of government leaders. What cops need is the support of the people! Their actions show they are at war with the people. Griffo seems to want the spot light-he sure isn’t thinking.
    There was a time when cops and our leaders were respected. Both have worked to destroy our trust.

  • Darral

    Cops already abuse their authority we don’t call it ,the CRIMINAL, justice system for nothing ironically in the areas where cops are the most abusive and get away with this abuse are where the Democrats have control, Abolish this Destructive Treasonous Democratic party,

  • vicki

    Since being annoyed is a feeling totally under the control of the cop it will be impossible to pass a law that would not be horribly abused.

    • FreedomFighter

      We are truly witnessing insanity manifest itself in society. It is what happens to all civilizations that succumb to deviant’s and moral rot. America was conceived as a country for the GOD fearing and moral, not the deviant, criminal, immoral society and leadership we have now.
      Laus Deo
      Semper FI

  • Dmac74

    If they are so thin skinned or afraid/spooked they have no business in law enforcement. To many have gestapo attitudes. No common since . Bully badges a lot. You even see it portrayed in movies and TV.

    • Justsomeguy151

      You mean “common SENSE”. We don’t need to cite movie and TV, there are hundreds of instances where police were out of their minds, attacking, harrassing and MURDERING citizens w/out any semblance of keeping order or upholding the law but instead to beat, intimidate and subdue a citizen. Several times in the past few months men have been beaten to DEATH AFTER already being prone on the ground and handcuffed. All while the pigs repeatedly yell “Stop resisting”. NOTHING has happened to the pigs who MURDERED these men and the pigs also stole people’s cellphones who recorded the MURDERS.

  • chocopot

    The lawmaker believes “too many people in our society have lost the respect they need to have for a police officer.”

    Maybe that’s because all too many police officers behave in a manner that deserves no respect.

    • Wizzardly

      I used to tell my kids, “You want respect, be respectable”. Now they tell their kids that. Maybe somebody should tell the NY cops that. Somebody should certainly tell Anthony Weiner, gov Cuomo and the White House that.

  • rivahmitch

    While the language of the proposed law appears to require “physical contact” for the charge to be made, it’s quite easy to see both the opportunity for abuse by (rather than of) the police and another attempt by government to reduce citizens to serfs. The time is has arrived when citizens must forcibly remind the government that they, rather than it, are the source of power. As Jefferson said “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When people fear the government, there is tyranny”. Current government at all levels has an insufficient fear of the people. Passing laws to exacerbate that problem will NOT make things better.

    • garygerke

      You need to read it again……to annoy an officer would be enough to be arrested, ridiculous!

  • Vigilant

    “The bill does state that in order for the harassment charge to be levied, a police officer would have to feel physically threatened by his heckler.”

    No, Mr. Rolley the bill does not state that. Read your own quote of the bill: the officer does not have to “feel” threatened, he has to BE physically threatened by striking, shoving or kicking. Moreover, it must be proven that the physical abuse was intentional.

    For one who bills himself as “dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media,” Mr.Rolley once again violates the standards of honest journalism. It’s called “Personal Liberty Digest,”
    not “Personal Take Liberties with the Truth Digest.”

    • vicki

      Since there is already a law against assault and battery why do they need this law at all?

      • Vigilant

        They probably don’t.

        That doesn’t change the fact that Rolley took liberties with the truth.

      • WTS/JAY

        Neither did the homosexuals require the same dubious-consideration, “double-dipping”. However, when it was granted to them, it did propel them to a special status-class. Meaning, un-touchable and above reproach…?

      • Don 2

        It is over-the-top. New York already has a new Penal Law Sect. 120.08 – Assault on a peace officer, police officer, fireman, or emergency medical services professional. A Class C Felony which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

        This is just another case of a politician wanting his name on a bill. That’s what they do; that’s how they grade themselves; the more bills they get their name on, the more successful they consider themselves and each other to be.

    • WTS/JAY


  • Robert Zraick

    I will give respect to police officers when they stop acting like thugs. How about a law that makes it illegal for the police to annoy citizens? You want to know what is really annoying? It is a government that passes 15,000 new laws every year. There are so many “laws” on the books that everyone is guilty of something.

  • Elton Robb

    Perhaps we should drop this guy in a police state.

    • vicki

      Too late :)

  • Old Wolf

    Respect is earned. It wasn’t that long ago that police wore blue, rather than black. It really wasn’t that long ago when they knocked on doors and served warrants, rather than kicking them down with a gang of their friends. It wasn’t that long ago that they arrested people without excessive violence, save for the bad apples, now the bad apples have apparently kicked over the apple cart, done their best to get rid of any good, and taken over the franchise.

    If they want respect, perhaps it might be a good idea to actually respect the people that, ostensibly, they work for?

    Perhaps realize that they are not tin-plated gods, and that they work for the people, rather than ruling them?

    But they cover each other, even when they know they’ve done wrong. They manage to hide their own wrongdoing and falsify reports to blame the victim wherever possible.

    And that’s wrong. If you’re beaten by the police anymore, even if completely innocent of any crime, they will find or create a crime to charge you with.

    If you’re arrested, even if completely innocent, they will find something to charge you with to justify the arrest.

    “At common law, if a party resisted arrest by an officer without warrant and who had no right to arrest him, and if in the course of that resistance the officer was killed, the offense of the party resisting arrest would be reduced from what would have been murder if the officer had had the right to arrest, to manslaughter. What would be murder if the officer had the right to arrest might be reduced to manslaughter by the very fact that he had no such right. So an officer at common law was not authorized to make an arrest without a warrant for a mere misdemeanor not committed in his presence.” John Bad Elk v. United States.

    “Instead of saying that plaintiff in error had the right to use such force as was absolutely necessary to resist an attempted illegal arrest, the jury were informed that the policemen had the right to use all necessary force to arrest him, and that he had no right to resist. He, of course, had no right to unnecessarily injure, much less to kill, his assailant; but where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction when the officer had the right to make the arrest from what it does if the officer had no such right. What might be murder in the first (Page 177 U. S. 538) case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.” John Bad Elk v. United States.

  • dan

    I’m annoyed by officious bureaucrats with guns and badges…of course I can and will defend myself and NO I don’t consent to searches and NO it’s against my policy to allow them to handcuff me without arresting me and stating the ‘probable cause’ with
    which they intend to charge me…all rights are reserved.

  • me

    One word and it’s a felony. all this law is an abuse of power. Why not train the officers self control. New York is fast becoming a gestapo state.

    • Diana

      I agree with you. I can hear it now,”what did I do officer?” That’s it you annoyed me,now your getting a felony charge.You don’t ask any questions your just supposed to let me arrest you.

      • MargaretJacobson

        Scary ….crazy

  • perry

    the cops in new york are sisseys if they can not control every one they need to find a new job. no one makes them take the job if you can not take the heat get the hell out of the job and pull up your dresses.

  • mari

    I think that citizens are already becoming leery of the police. This law will allow the police to be capricious, and cause dread and fear of them. More and more, we see government taking power away from the people who should be their bosses and that power is being given to agents of that very government.

  • jzandensky

    I’m annoyed by cops whether on duty or off. most cops are phoney duddly-do-right know-it-alls suspicious pissants. I should know, my younger brother hasn’t changed a bit.

  • jimmyt

    why not just use animal protection laws. Police are more beast than human.

  • Karolyn

    As always, the cops can do whatever they want. They can fabricate anything that fits the situation and get away with it.

  • Guest

    It makes me wonder if California and New York are vying to be the worst states to live in where Big Brother aspects are concerned?

  • garygerke

    If this law passes in NY the rest of the country will be right behind them. The LEO”S already abuse their positions of power, they do not care about the Constitution or the bill of rights. The only way to protect yourself is to video and audio record them!!!!!!!!!!!!!