Amidst Concerns Of Police Killing Black Men, NYPD Wants To Give Police More Power
By Victor Ochieng
In a move that could spell doom for the Black people in New York, the NYPD made a serious plea on Wednesday to the legislature to enact stringent laws to deal with resisting arrest. If the proposed laws go through, resisting arrest will jump from being a misdemeanor to a felony.
The law could provide a loophole for rogue officers to keep people behind bars for years. But according to NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, the law is simply meant to provide a paradigm shift from the school of thought that resisting arrest comes without consequences.
“If you don’t want us to enforce something, don’t make it a law,” Bratton allegedly told the sitting Senate, according to Buzzfeed.
The legislatures are seemingly buying the idea and could change the law to that effect. Proceedings in a hearing convened by members of different New York State Senate committees indicate that the lawmakers are seriously considering the proposal.
If the law goes through, resisting arrest could become a serious offense, carrying with it a sentence anywhere from 4 years of probation to life behind bars.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch went asked the lawmakers to stiffen punishment for protestors by making assaulting a police officer during a public protest or assembly a Class B felony. The offense could attract up to 25 years in jail.
“We believe this change in law is necessary to deter the type of conduct we saw during last month’s demonstrations,” Lynch said, referring to the protests that were occasioned by the killing of unarmed black men by police officers.
This push is coming at a time when there have been several reports of unjust killings of black men, with the police officers who commit these killings controversially set free. Sources show that some of those arrested during the protests on behalf of the victims are still locked up due to lack of money for bail.
Giving officers such excessive powers, especially at a time when the police are already being heavily accused of unwarranted use of excessive force during arrests, is something that may make the county’s racial divide even wider.