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Protestors Resisting Arrest in Louisiana Can Be Charged with Hate Crime
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Summary: When someone resists arrest in Louisiana due to their hostility of police, they can be charged for a hate crime.

Louisiana upped the ante by moving resisting arrest charges to the next level as a hate crime when the resistance is motivated by animosity towards the police. The “Blue Lives Matter” bill was signed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards last May. The law protecting firefighters, EMS officials, and police officers went into effect in August.

  
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Martindale Police Chief Calder Herbert is ready to apply the law to anyone resisting arrest. He stated, “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. 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 note resisting arrest as a qualifying offense. It gives police officials the power to pursue more severe punishments for crimes viewed as outwardly motivated by a hatred of police.

A scenario of this law being applied would be especially pertinent in protest situations. As Huffington Post’s Julia Craven pointed out, “If a police officer grabs a protester’s arm during a demonstration and that person makes a movement the officer considers aggressive, a minor trespassing or disturbing the peace charge could be bumped up to assault and possibly considered a hate crime.”

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Louisiana was already among the states with stricter charges of crimes committed against police officers. The Trump administration, just days into office, has vowed to tighten the belt against “the rioter, the looter and the violent disrupter.” They also pledged to place more officers on the streets.

Do you think there should be more steps taken to ensure police are safe when responding to violent or unpredictable situations like protests? Tell us in the comments below.



To learn more about hate crimes, read these articles:

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org



 

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