Kentucky bill would make it a crime to insult, taunt a police officer

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Protesters stand in front of Kentucky State Police officers as they protest the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. Breonna Taylor, a black woman, was fatally shot by police in her home in March. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(WTVO) — Proposed legislation in Kentucky would make it illegal in that state to insult or taunt a police officer in a way that could lead to a violent response.

According to CNN, the provision is part of a larger bill aimed at increasing penalties for crimes related to riots.

Under the proposed law, 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 guilty of second-degree disorderly conduct, and could face up to 90 days in jail and a $250 fine.

State Sen. Danny Carroll (R), the bill’s lead sponsor, said, “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.”

The bill passed the state Senate last week.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky called the measure “an extreme bill to stifle dissent.”

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