Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. introduced legislation to specifically criminalize the recording, sharing, distribution and publishing of assaults, such as “Knockout Game.”
“The Knockout Game isn’t the first trendy crime that has spread because of the popularity of internet videos showing the incidents,” said Kean (R-Union, Morris, Somerset). “This legislation makes it clear that people in New Jersey who record, share, post or publish people being assaulted will be criminally liable.”
Senator Kean’s S3216 modifies the third-degree crime of endangering an injured victim by clarifying in the statute that a person is guilty if they film, photograph or otherwise record the act causing bodily injury for circulation, publication or distribution. Violators face imprisonment for three to five years, a $15,000 maximum fine or both.
“People need to realize that the assault of a fellow human being is not some trivial event or game off of which to gain popularity or share a laugh with friends,” Kean added. “In New Jersey, too many people have sat back and recorded people being beat up on the streets, on trains or in restaurants.”
“I know there’s legislation introduced to also increase the criminal penalties for acts of assault, but deterring the audience, popularity and spreading of these senseless crimes is just as important.”