Warning: District attorney sends message
Coughing and spitting has never been polite in society — and in today’s world it could be deadly. That is why county District Attorney Patrick Swanson’s promise to prosecute those who target police officers to the “fullest extent of the law” is a welcome sign.
Swanson’s actions come after an apparent incident involving the Dunkirk Police Department. “We find ourselves in unprecedented times,” the district attorney said. “Our police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers are putting their lives, and potentially the lives of those close to them, at-risk to protect our communities every single day. These officers risk exposure to this virus simply by going to work. It angers me that anyone would spit or cough at an officer — especially during this health crisis — in an effort to intimidate or threaten them when they are performing their job-related responsibilities.”
Potential charges could include second-degree attempted assault, a class E felony, third-degree menacing, a class B misdemeanor, and the violation of second-degree harassment.
Danger is around us in this virus. We must be as careful, and respectful of others, as possible.