Sunday, February 8, 2015

NYPD Chief Supports Harsher Penalties for Resisting Arrest ----- Make It A Felony Arrest

The NYPD's chief supports harsher penalties for resisting arrest. That’s a horrifying idea.
Updated by Dara Lind on February 4, 2015, 3:20 p.m. ET

During widespread protests in New York last summer after the killing of Eric Garner by police officer Daniel Pantaleo (who was not charged in Garner's killing), New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had this message for protesters: "You must submit to arrest, you cannot resist …The place to argue your case is in the courts, not in the streets."

Now, it looks like he supports punishing protesters even more harshly for resisting arrest.

According to Buzzfeed's Nicolas Medina Mora, Bratton was asked about resisting arrest while testifying before the State Senate Wednesday:

If the state legislators asked Bratton about this, it's possible that they're at least considering changing New York law to make it a felony to resist arrest. This could spell disaster for New Yorkers, for one big reason: resisting arrest charges are used mostly by a small share of cops, many of whom are among the most abusive.

In New York, in particular — according to a 2014 report from WNYC — 40 percent of resisting-arrest cases are brought in by 5 percent of police officers:

Here's why that matters: if a cop is routinely hauling people into court for resisting arrest, he might be taking an overly aggressive attitude toward civilians. A police officer might even, as police accountability expert Sam Walker told WNYC, use the criminal charge to cover up his use of excessive force:

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