State legislatures in Kentucky have advanced a bill that would make it illegal to insult, taunt, or provoke a police officer.
The provision which is part of a larger bill that seeks to increase penalties for riot related crimes past last week in the state Senate.
Anyone who ” accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words, or by gestures or other physical contact, that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response” would be committing a Class B misdemeanor crime of second degree disorderly conduct and could face up to 90 days in jail or be subjected to fines up to $250.
Republican Senator Danny Carroll says this is about the violence and vandalism that was seen all across the U.S. last year:
” This is not about lawful protest in any way, shape, form or fashion,” he said. ” This country was built on lawful protest and it’s something we must maintain our citizen’s right to do so. ”
“What this deals with are those who cross the line and commit criminal acts. If you see the riots, you see people getting in these officers faces, yelling in their ears, doing anything they can to provoke a violent response.”
While some agree with the bill, others don’t agree with the language:
” I think by us having that kind of language in here, it makes my stomach turn, because I don’t believe any of my good officers are going to provoke a violent response because someone does a ‘ your mama’ joke or whatnot,” Democratic state Sen. David Yates said.
The bill comes almost a year after Louisville experienced widespread protest over the death of Breonna Taylor who was killed during an overnight drug raid on her home. Authorities say they were searching for her boyfriend.