Resisting Arrest Can Now Be Considered A Hate Crime In Louisiana
Last year Louisiana enacted the “Blue Lives Matter” bill, which protects police officers, firefighters and EMS officials under the state’s hate crime statute. Now however, a police chief is ready to expand the law to anyone resisting arrest.
St. Martinville Police Chief Calder Herbert recently spoke to a local ABC affiliate, in which he said that he hopes the bill not only saves lives, but makes offenders reconsider resisting arrest.
“We don’t need the general public being murdered for no reason and we don’t need officers being murdered for no reason. We all need to just work together,” Herbert said. “Resisting an officer or batter of a police officer was just that charge, simply. But now, Governor Edwards, in the legislation, made it a hate crime.”
The bill does not specifically describe resisting arrest as an offense but if an officer interprets a person’s actions as that, then it makes the consequences for the individual much more severe.
ABC provides the following example in its article:
“If someone who’s arrested for petty theft, a misdemeanor, tries to assault an officer, that individual can be charged with a hate crime. A hate crime is considered a much more serious offense, with serious consequences.”
A felony hate crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, hence the “serious consequences.”
“We need the police and the public to work together. The policemen have a job. The public has the job of helping the police. And if someone happens to be involved in criminal activity. Let the courts handle it. Don’t resist physically,” Hebert said.
Governor John Bel Edwards offered a response to the criticism the bill is facing in regards to this, saying that the state’s hate crime law does not include resisting arrest. You can read up on the “Blue Lives Matter” bill here.