Congressional representatives and municipal authorities across the nation are banding together to propose new laws that toughen punishment for assault convictions linked to the “knockout game.”
In a call to action for prosecutors and law enforcement officials, Wisconsin Representative Dean Kaufert (R) asked for stiffer penalties with fewer delays in the prosecution phase.
“This is not a child’s prank, this is a serious crime where innocent victims are assaulted, injured and in some instances even killed, and it should be treated that way,” Kaufert said in a Nov. 27 statement. “We want to send any potential perpetrator of this senseless violence the message that if they do this in Wisconsin they will face serious criminal consequences, not a slap on the wrist.”
Young participants in the “game” choose a victim at random and punch them in the face with the intention of knocking them out cold in one swing.
Many of the unsuspected assaults have been recorded and placed online to amass hits on YouTube and attention on other social media sites.
Though some claim that the increased attention from news media in recent days is an attempt to boost hysteria and cause racial divides—most victims are White or of non-African American descent—lawmakers nonetheless are taking steps to introduce bills increasing punishments for taking part in the game.
New York Senator Hugh T. Farley announced Nov. 25 that he too will be leading legislative efforts to stop the trend from spreading.
Farley joined Assemblyman Ted Tedisco in promoting the “Knockout Game Deterrent Act,” under which New York participants in “Knockout Game” assault cases could face over two decades in prison.
“These Knockout Game thugs are nothing but punks and cowards and if they think they’re some kind of ‘big shot’ for punching an unsuspecting elderly person or a mom then they should face ‘big man’ laws and do hard time,” Tedisco said. “As far as I’m concerned, they should lock ‘em up and throw away the key for 25 years.”
The Knockout Game Deterrent Act is still in the draft phase but should be ready for introduction in early December.