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Dem, GOP lawmakers want to repeal the county 'Anti-Annoyance' law

Berkeley Brean
Created: February 13, 2020 06:23 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The woman who sponsored the law in Monroe County that made it illegal to harass a police officer or firefighter now says she wants to repeal it. 

Republican County Legislator Karla Boyce sponsored the bill, got it passed in November and signed by then County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo just before Christmas. 

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Now Boyce wants it repealed. 

And at a news conference this afternoon, she had a touching moment with one of the biggest critics of the law. 

"I'm proud to stand here today alongside Minority Leader (Vince) Felder and co-sponsor this repeal legislation with him," Boyce said. 

She then walked to Felder and they hugged. 

"Thank you so much and I appreciate it," Boyce said. 

"I didn't have a problem with the intent of the law. I had a problem with the content of the law," Felder said. "So we were very intentional about getting rid of it."

The bill got all kinds of people upset and there were protests at the County Office Building. 

The law made it a crime to threaten, harass or annoy police officers, peace officers or emergency responders.

On Thursday, Boyce said that after talking with all kinds of people she realized it wasn't working and was hurting the relationship between police and the community. 

And when we spoke to police chiefs they didn't think it was necessary in the first place. 

Chief Jim Vanbrederode, Gates PD: "I think it's a good thing if it's getting repealed because it did create a lot of controversy within our community. And we certainly don't need any more controversy."

Chief Pat Phelan, Greece PD: "I didn't see a big change when it was enacted. And I don't see a big change with it being rescinded."

The county says no police department in Monroe County enforced the law so no one has ever been ticketed for breaking it. News10NBC contacted the county executive's office. They think this repeal vote could happen in March. 


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