All this talk about Ken Krayeske’s recent arrest for interfering with a police officer and breach of peace got me thinking about what, exactly, it means to interfere with the police.
In a Hartford Courant article that you may have missed right before the holidays, Lynne Tuouhy wrote about a recent unanimous Connecticut Supreme Court decision that allows any person who peacefully refuses to show identification to a police officer to be arrested for interfering with an officer. The law, which is Connecticut Statute 53a-167a states that Interfering with an officer is a Class A Misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year in prison). A person is guilty of interfering with an officer when, “such person obstructs, resists, hinders or endangers any peace officer, special policeman appointed under section 29-18b or firefighter in the performance of such peace officer’s, special policeman’s or firefighter’s duties.”
The Connecticut Supreme Court last week reversed a unanimous Appellate Court decision and declared that peacefully existing on public property and simply refusing to show identification is either obstruction, resistance or hindrance punishable by up to a year in prison. I’m not sure which colorful verb they believe it falls under! The case, State v. Aloi, centered around a man who was suspiciously standing near a fire truck on public property near his home. Granted, he had been in legal trouble before for messing with the fire truck, which created loud noise and was a nuisance near his home, yet the precedent set by this case is somewhat startling.
I’m not sure exactly what this information adds to the conversation over Mr. Krayeske’s arrest, but I thought it might be interesting for your readers to know just exactly how easy it is to be arrested for interfering with an officer. I know that many “known protestors” visit your site regularly, so they may want to know that apparently doing anything contrary to exactly what you are told to do by a police officer anywhere in Connecticut is able to land you in jail, if not just until the last glass of champagne is poured at the Governor’s ball, then possibly for up to one year.
The statute in question, Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a-167a, is available here.
The decision in State v. Aloi is available here.
So, what do you think?