Republicans in the state Senate on Wednesday sought the passage of measures that would protect police officers working in the line of duty amid a national debate over the role of law enforcement in American life.
The measures were voted down by majority Democrats in the chamber as lawmakers meet this week in a rare mid-July session of the Legislature.
The bills were called for by GOP lawmakers weeks after the Democratic-controlled state Legislature approved a package of bills meant to reform how police interact with the public, including stiffer penalties for the use of chokeholds and making it easier for the public to gain access to the disciplinary records of the police.
Protests around the country were held in cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, leading to broader calls for ending systemic racism in American society.
Republicans, though, pointed to the danger cops are in during this time, including the recent attack of NYPD Chief Terence Monahan.
Republicans proposed a range of bills including increasing penalities for resisting arrest to a class E felony, creating a felony charge if a person does not follow an officer's order to move 25 feet away while they perform their duties, and increasing charges for assaulting a police officer.
Other measures would increase penalties and charges for harassment, forms of assault or revealing personal information -- known as "doxing" -- of a police officer or their family.
“Democrat silence on the violence towards police is unconscionable," said Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, a Republican from western New York.
"Their vote today against protecting law enforcement who are assaulted on the job sends the wrong message. Republicans want the public to know that we will always protect those who protect us. Democrats have defied common sense by creating an environment where law enforcement is under attack and violence on residents is skyrocketing. We will continue to advance this important package of bills."