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Resisting arrest penalties may increase

Mar 26, 2015 12:03 am
NY1 reports State Senator Tony Avella introduced a bill in Albany this week that would allow people who've been charged with resisting arrest twice before to face felony charges the third time, calling it "aggravated resisting arrest." Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz is introducing the bill in the other legislative chamber. In February, New York Commissioner Bill Bratton asked lawmakers to raise the penalty for resisting arrest from a misdemeanor to a felony, NPR reports, But The New York Post reports the charge is often misused as only 6.2 percent resisting arrest charges resulted in convictions, with charges dismissed in almost half of the cases. WNYC's Robert Lewis reported that since 2012 just five percent of officers accounted for 40 percent of all resisting arrest charges. Activists worry that this bill, and another, Bill A02899, that would make resisting arrest a Class E felony, are targeting protesters, some of whom complain about police brutality.