Annoying a police officer may soon be punishable by up to a year in jail in an upstate New York county hoping to avoid incidents like the dousing of cops with water. Under a proposal that was approved by the Monroe County Legislature, someone who annoys, alarms or threatens a police officer or other first responder could be arrested and sentenced to a year in jail or forced to pay a $5,000 fine. The legislature approved the bill by a 17-10 vote. The county executive will now hold a public hearing and decide whether to pass it into law. The bill sparked outrage among groups such as the New York Civil Liberties Union, which said: “Members of the community have every right to challenge police officers, particularly those that engage in unnecessary behavior. At a time when more accountability of police departments is needed, this law takes us incredibly backward.” Experts also question the law’s constitutionally.

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