A highly disputed bill that would classify cops and other first responders as a “protected class” was struck down by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran after getting advice from Attorney General Letitia James on the matter.
Curran stated on Tuesday that there was “genuine concern” among community members and “that the law would intimidate free citizens from engaging in peaceful demonstrations without fear of retaliation.” She further stated that “There is no consensus among elected officials and the public that this current legislation is necessary, carefully crafted and without negative consequences.”
According to the bill, police and other first responders would be able to sue protestors and others for civil damages in the case of harassment, injury, assault or menacing with fines reaching up $50,000. This legislation was proposed by Independent representative Joshua Lafazan, who causes with Democrats. It passed in the legislature 12-6 last week. Lafazan has no plans on fighting against Curran’s decision and had this to say:
“The intent of this bill was always to protect those first responders who protect us here in Nassau. As a lawmaker I of course respect the opinion of New York’s Attorney General Tish James. Therefore, I respect the County Executive’s decision to veto this bill based on the AG’s guidance, and will not vote to override County Executive Curran.”
Some were less than thrilled with Curran’s choice.
“Incidents of first responders being menaced and harassed have gone up considerably in the last few years and the County Executive has sided against the legislature and against police officers and others who perform their jobs in harm’s way,” said Nassau PBA President James McDermott who calls Curran’s decision “disappointing.”
Others are celebrating this move as a victory for human rights.
What do you think about the bill and the veto? Feel free to comment and let us know how you feel.