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Prosecutor appointed to investigate incidents of coughing and spitting at police during pandemic

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Posted at 11:37 AM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 11:37:28-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County District Attorney says he is taking reports of police officers being coughed and spit o n during the pandemic very seriously any their office will be arresting anybody that does it.

“Every day, police officers put their lives at-risk to protect our communities. Now, these officers risk exposure to this virus by performing their duties that require them to come into contact with individuals despite social distancing recommendations. It infuriates me that any person would spit or cough at an officer - especially during this health crisis. I want the people of Erie County to know that this behavior will not be tolerated, and I will pursue the highest possible charge against any individual who threatens the health and livelihood of our police officers,” said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

Attempted assault, menacing and harassment charges are all possible for anyone who coughs, sneezes or spits on an officer. Flynn will also consider bringing a motion to compel a defendant to be tested for COVID-19.

Reported incidents will be investigated and prosecuted by Chief Danielle D’Abate of the DA’s Community Prosecution Unit.