FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — A bill that would criminalize insulting police officers and enhance rioting penalties passed through the Kentucky Senate on Thursday.
If this bill, formally known as SB 211, passes the House, it will have massive impacts on protests in Kentucky and on the First Amendment. The bill's passing would raise the penalties for crimes related to rioting, including making it illegal to taunt or insult a police officer to the point where it could provoke a violent response. The punishment will be up to 90 days in jail.
The bill's sponsor, retired police officer Senator Danny Carroll, said the bill is to protect law enforcement, the public and their property.
Opponents of the bill say the bill threatens everyone's free speech.
The bill now goes to the House.