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Illegal To Insult Cops?

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Revoltingest, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    In the news....
    Kentucky bill would make it a crime to insult a police officer
    Excerpted....
    A bill moving through Kentucky's Senate would make it a crime to insult or taunt a police officer during a riot. Supporters say the bill targets people who unlawfully "cross the line" but opponents call it a blatant attempt to crush protests and a violation of First Amendment rights.

    Senate Bill 211 mandates up to three months' imprisonment for a person who "accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words," or makes "gestures or other physical contact that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response from the perspective of a reasonable and prudent person."

    A person convicted of this misdemeanor charge could also face a $250 fine and be disqualified from public assistance benefits for three months.
     
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  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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  3. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    So basically an attempt to cut off human rights and suppress legitimate dissent is how it looks to me.
    Shame on those who raised the bill
     
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  4. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    What else is in the bill? Is this a rider somebody added on?
     
  5. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    I take it this is coming from the people who claim to champion free speech!
     
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  6. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Some people have been reading China's laws and what they're doing in Hong Kong and decided that the USA should follow where China leads.
     
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  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    It appears so in the article (if accurate).
    Excerpted....
    CBS News also reached out to the staff of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat.

    Carroll told the Louisville Courier-Journal that the bill is a response to riots that broke out in many cities across the country last summer. Louisville was an epicenter for racial justice protests due to the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed in March 2020 during a raid of her home by Louisville police officers.

    "This country was built on lawful protest, and it's something that we must maintain — our citizens' right to do so," Carroll told the Courier-Journal. "What this deals with are those who cross the line and commit criminal acts."
     
  8. Regiomontanus

    Regiomontanus άντρας των αστεριών

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    "...during a riot"

    So if I call a cop an as*&$#@& or give her the finger (neither of which I would actually do) after being pulled over tor speeding would be OK (legally)?

    What is the definition of a riot, anyway?
     
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  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I don't know.
     
  10. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    I didn't read the 40 page bill, only the article. It seems to me that the journalist is laboring under several misapprehensions:

    First, can we please make a distinction between riots and protests?

    The basic test for limits to free speech come down to prohibiting speech that is likely to cause imminent violence. So regardless of the context, the question is one of imminent violence. So if a RIOT is already underway, I would say the rioters are already guilty of a bunch of things.

    So I'm hoping the drafters of the Bill were addressing whether a peaceful protestor can legally taunt an officer during a peaceful protest. To me, we already have those laws on the books. It might not always be an easy, objective call to make, but I would say that protestors currently have the right to criticize officers during a protest, but if the criticism is likely to incite violence - right then and there - current laws would say the protestors have crossed the line.

    If the Bill is proposing that officers cannot be criticized during a peaceful protest - even if such criticism is not likely to lead to violence - then I would say that that proposed Bill is indeed attempting to curtail speech.
     
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  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I recently heard a podcast (Hidden Brain?) about research
    on things cops do to trigger riots during peaceful protests.
    This would give them quite a bit of control over speech.

    I wondered too about a protest specifically about cops.
    The entire protest could be deemed an insult, & therefor illegal.

    BTW, I favor the right to taunt as political speech.

    Edit: I heard nothing about cops triggering
    riots being intentional.
     
    #11 Revoltingest, Mar 5, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
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  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    At times, yes....other times, no.
    But cops can influence protests in the direction
    of violence, thereby becoming a riot. This would
    be to give them too much power over us.
    A problem is that now a legal insult might be treated
    as incitement of violence. This strikes me as dangerously
    unconstitutional.
    I see taunting as protected speech.
    "I dare you to arrest me!"
    This should not be grounds for arrest.
    I see no positive effects for this bill, but
    great possibility for chilling legal speech.
     
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  13. Quetzal

    Quetzal A little to the left and slightly out of focus.
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    Sounds incredibly subjective. The cops could literally take any phrase and say they felt insulted.
     
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  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Even if the charge doesn't stick, just the
    threat of arrest for possibly offending a
    cop is very anti free speech.
     
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  15. The Hammer

    The Hammer White Wolf - kvite ulfh
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    It should never be a crime to insult a police officer. Physical contact on the other hand, that has always been illegal afaik.
     
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  16. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Whoever introduced such a bill needs to be charged with insulting, taunting, and challenging
    the United States Constitution.
     
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  17. Earthtank

    Earthtank Active Member

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    I actually like it, what possible good can come from insulting these cops? Is that really going to help during a riot? I am all for actions that will (or at least should) result in less violence. As long as the police officers are keeping the peace and doing their job there is no reason rioters should be insulting or taunting them. Officers are people too and they will get pissed, why purposely taunt, insult and anger someone with a weapon(s)?

    Edit to add: As I have said many times before, especially for those who want ot say this limits freedom of speech. Your freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. If you think it's a smart way to exercise your freedom of speech by insulting someone with a weapon at a riot then, be ready to deal with the consequences. For those who do not know this yet but, its almost impossible to sue a cop (look it up if you want more details) so even when they are wrong (as some have been lately) no action would be taken against them (at least no serious action). So do you still wanna insult them? Free country, free will do as you wish but, be sure you are ready to deal with the consequences of your actions
     
    #17 Earthtank, Mar 5, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  18. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    There's probably a loophole by which a person disrespecting a Judge as an authority figure can be charged with contempt of court multiple times.

    I can only think of one thing...




    Boyyyy!!!
     
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  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Preservation of the right to political speech.
    There is no constitutional requirement that
    political speech be useful or innoffensive.
    The question isn't whether or not they should.
    It's about the right to be able to.
    I don't say that insulting cops is a good idea.
    But being a bad idea doesn't invalidate the right.
    I'm beginning to think that what we could use a
    law punishing cops for insulting civilians.
    It's reasonable to expect a higher standard of
    behavior from them.
     
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  20. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    God I hope not. For both Hong Kong and Kentucky residents.
     
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