From the Morning Memo:

A string of recent incidents in which civilians poured water on New York City police officers is getting some attention at the federal level.

This week, Southern Tier Republican Rep. Tom Reed wrote a latter to United States Attorney General William Barr asking him to investigate the actions as potential hate crimes and pursue criminal assault charges against the perpetrators.

“Make no mistake – these officers were attacked because of the badge and uniform they wear,” Reed wrote. “If our nation does not come together to confront the rhetoric of hate and the attacks on our law enforcement officers, the safety of our homes and communities will be in jeopardy.”

The congressman said criminals have been emboldened by rhetoric from Democratic lawmakers, recently enacted state laws requiring officers to issue tickets instead of make arrests for some offenses, and “some district attorneys’ refusal to prosecute certain low-level crimes.

“While we cannot control the extreme rhetoric of these politicians and the total disrespect local district attorneys have shown toward police by refusing to prosecute these crimes, the United States Justice Department does have the ability to investigate criminal hate crime charges,” Reed said.

He also expressed support for a proposed New York State law that would make it a Class E felony to throw or spray water or any other substance at an on-duty officer. He said, however, that bill is facing stiff opposition from Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.