Rep. Tom Reed said Wednesday during his weekly conference call with reporters that he was appalled by the recent videos of people dumping water on on-duty police officers in New York City.
The social media trend shows individuals throwing buckets of water on New York City Police Department officers on the job, and sometimes the buckets come into contact with the men and women on duty.
Reed, who represents the Greater Olean area in the United States House of Representatives 23rd district, said he supports the proposal from Assemblyman Michael Reilly, a Republican representing parts of Staten Island, which labels such attacks as class E felonies and hate crimes.
“We should send a united message that we are standing with the men and women in law enforcement to make sure that anyone who attacks them in such an appalling way is held accountable and has severe, significant penalties imposed on them,” Reed said.
Additionally, Reed told reporters he has been in contact with the Department of Justice about investigating people who attacked the police officers and about increasing penalties on anyone convicted.
Reed criticized New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, whose district is in the northeastern part of the Bronx and neighboring municipalities north of New York City, for opposing the proposal to enhance penalties for those convicted of assaults on police officers.
According to the New York Post, Heastie believes that locking up people would not solve the problem. In early August, after Republican state lawmakers first proposed the higher penalty legislation in late July, Heastie stated that such a solution would be punitive.
Reed said those who attack police officers should be prosecuted at a federal level.
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