Every year in New York City, 2,000 individuals are charged with resisting arrest. As it stands those arrested on that charge are facing a misdemeanor. If NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has his way, alleged resistors will face felony charges, in the future.
Bratton made his feelings known earlier this month during his testimony at a joint hearing of four New York State Senate, according to the NY Observer. “I think a felony would be very helpful in terms of raising the bar significantly in the penalty for the resistance of arrest,” explained the commish.
Bratton feels as though the general public believes that resisting arrest is cool, and that doing so endangers cops and civilians alike. “We need to get around this idea that you can resist arrest. You can’t. You just can’t do it” he said. “It results in potential injuries to the officer, to the suspect. And we need to change that, and the way to change that is to start penalties for it.”
However, those in-the-know are aware that most resisting arrest charges are bullshit and are often dismissed. In response to this fact, Bratton suggested that law enforcement expand its CompStat tracking program to keep track of how many of the charges are thrown out. “The vast majority might end up being dismissed,” he said. In apparent denial that most resisting arrest charges are fugazi, he added, “We’re asking district attorneys to treat them more seriously than they have been treated in the past.”
During his testimony, Bratton also expressed his desire to implement “more severe penalties for fatally assaulting an officer, for attacking a school safety agent or auxiliary cop and for wearing a bullet-proof vest.” He also wants to enact “measures mandating bulletproof glass in all police cars, and for tighter regulations on civilian window tinting, as well as punishments for anyone who would publicize the address and other personal information of a police officer.”