Threatening to kill a law enforcement officer will result in increased penalties under legislation Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced. The bill is in response to alleged recent threats made by gang members to target police officers in Jersey City.
In July, cops shot and killed a man who murdered Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago, who was responding to a report of an armed robbery at a local Walgreens. According to media accounts, gang members called for retaliation following the gunman’s shooting.
“Whether these threats were real or exaggerated in this particular incident is inconsequential. Any threat to kill a law enforcement officer is a very serious matter and should be treated as such,” said Dancer, R-Ocean, Monmouth, Burlington and Middlesex. “Police officers put their lives on the line every day. They should be afforded every protection under the law. Individuals who seek to threaten them need to know they will face significant jail time and monetary penalties.”
Dancer’s bill, A-3611, extends the definition of terroristic threats under current statute to include threats against law enforcement officers. It upgrades the crime of threatening to kill a law enforcement officer from a third to second degree crime, which calls for a five-to-10-year prison term, a maximum fine of $150,000 or both. Under current law, the penalty is three-to-five years, a $15,000 fine or both.