15 March 2021

Yeah, That's Gonna Help

In response to the brutal and negligent killing of Breonna Taylor by out of control police, the Kentucky State Senate has passed a bill making it illegal to insult police, because apparently police officers are beautiful cinnamon rolls too perfect for this world.

OK,the bit about cinnamon rolls came from The Onion, but God help us, the rest of this is true:

Kentucky’s Republican-majority Senate on Thursday moved forward a bill that would make it easier to arrest protesters for insulting a police officer, a measure that critics say would stifle free speech.

The bill, passed two days before the anniversary of the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor, would make it a misdemeanor to taunt or challenge an officer with words or gestures “that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response from the perspective of a reasonable and prudent person.” Conviction would be punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $250.

State Sen. Danny Carroll (R), who sponsored the bill, said it would enable officers to arrest someone inflaming them before the encounter turns violent. The provision is meant to apply to comments that are “obviously designed to elicit a response from the officer — something to push them to making a mistake, pushing them to violence,” he said, although courts would have the final say in interpreting the rule.

“You don’t have a right to accost a police officer,” Carroll said.

In addition to criminalizing taunting police, the bill would expand the category of protest behavior considered illegal, heighten sentences for offenses related to “riots” and prevent early release for those violations. It comes as Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, prepares for hundreds of people to gather downtown Saturday to recognize the first anniversary of Taylor being fatally shot during an early-morning raid.


The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky called the measure “an extreme bill to stifle dissent” with broad and ambiguous language.

“It’s criminalizing speech in a way that’s directed at protesters and people who are speaking out against police action,” said Corey Shapiro, ACLU of Kentucky’s legal director. “It is a bedrock principle of the First Amendment that people should be able to criticize police action, even if it’s using offensive speech.”

The provision of the bill that would ban insulting police was modeled on laws in other states prohibiting comments that could reasonably push a person to violence, said Carroll, himself a former police officer. Those statutes, which are not specific to anti-police comments, rely on an exception to the First Amendment known as the “fighting words doctrine,” which holds that words inciting immediate violence are not constitutionally protected.

I am going to go out on a limb here, but I think that dealing with violent and verbally abusive people is a central part of a police officer's job.

Also, the, "Fighting Words Doctrine," has largely been vitiated over the past 4 or 5 decades, and

If you cannot deal with someone calling you a pig-felching racist douche bag without resorting to violence, you probably are:

  • A pig felching racist douche bag.
  • Completely unsuited to the job of peace officer. 

As an aside, if you do not know the definition of the word, "Felch," DON'T look it up.

Trust me on this one.


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