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Kentucky Bill Would Criminalize Insulting, Taunting Police Officers

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A group of Kentucky state senators have had enough after watching rioters taunt police over and over again — and they want to give police a way to fight back legally.

By a 7-4 vote, members of the Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee of the Kentucky state Senate passed legislation amending current law so that it would become illegal to taunt police and other public safety personnel.

The law would allow someone to be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor if he or she “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 from the perspective of a reasonable and prudent person.”

The penalty for conviction could be up to 90 days in jail.

The law was sponsored by Kentucky Republican Sen. Danny Carroll, a retired police officer, according to WMBF-TV.

“This [bill] is not about lawful protest in any way, shape, form, or fashion,” Carroll said, according to the station. “This country was built on lawful protest and it’s something we must maintain our citizens’ right to do so.

“What this deals with are those who cross the line and commit criminal acts,” he said.

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