When a person is arrested today it seems that resisting arrest is always one of the charges lodged. In New York, resisting arrest is only a misdemeanor. However, if NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and police union head Patrick Lynch have their way, it will become a felony. If you protest your arrest, the police could slap a charge on you that will change your life forever.
Bratton stated that he is pushing for the change because New York City residents “get this idea that you can resist arrest. You can’t. You must submit to arrest, you cannot resist. The place to argue your case is in the court, not in the streets.”
Reclassifying resisting arrest could lead to harsher sentencing, including up to four years probation or even life imprisonment if a person has prior felony arrests. Not to mention that a convicted felon loses his or her right to vote. But the police power structure wants to go even further against citizens who decide to protest. Lynch wants the New York legislature to make assaulting police during a public assembly a class B felony, which could lead to a 25-year term in prison.
Many feel that these changes are a direct result of the recent protests against police abuse that swept the nation.