The “Blue Lives Matter” law passed in Louisiana last year—under which violence against cops was officially classified as a hate crime—also applies to resisting arrest, according to a state police chief.
The law makes it so that a Louisiana resident who resists arrest for even a minor crime can pick up a felony hate crime charge, St. Martinville Police Chief Calder Hebert told KATC local news. “Resisting an officer or battery of a police officer was just that charge, simply,” he said. “But now, Governor Edwards, in the legislation, made it a hate crime now.”
The law, signed by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in May, effectively worsens legal penalties for any person charged with targeting a police officer or firefighter. Louisiana was the first state to enact such a law, which gives an already deeply protected police force even further legal protection. KATC reports:
“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,” said Hebert.
Hebert is very familiar with the new hate crime law, having already enforced it since it took effect in August.
Indeed, last September a 34-year-old man in New Orleans was reportedly the first to be charged with a felony hate crime in the state after he damaged property and yelled slurs at cops.
Although proving a hate crime is notoriously difficult, “Blue Lives Matter” is an effective legal weapon for officers and it’s all the more unnerving that the resisting arrest application can readily be abused or misused, with all nuance of a specific situation lost. Reason notes, “It’s notoriously easy to be charged with resisting arrest, so much so that police departments across the country often consider a large number of resisting arrest charges as a potential red flag for officer misconduct.”