Louisiana recently passed a “Blue Lives Matter” law in response to the spate of targeted police officer killings that have happened since the Black Lives Matter movement began. Some on the left are miffed that they can’t blame this on Donald Trump because Governor John Bel Edwards who signed the legislation is a Democrat.
St. Martinville Police Chief Calder Hebert hopes the law will not only save lives, but make offenders think twice before 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,” said Hebert.
Hebert is very familiar with the new hate crime law, having already enforced it since it took effect in August.
“Resisting an officer or battery of a police officer was just that charge, simply. But now, Governor Edwards, in the legislation, made it a hate crime now,” said Hebert.
Under the new law, Hebert says any offender who resists, or gets physical, with an officer can be charged with a felony hate crime.
Fake black person Shaun “Talcum X” King complained about it in his NY Daily News column. He inadvertently stumbles across the stupidity of the general concept of a “hate crime.” A crime is a crime. Hate is a feeling. Punishing people for feeling something is dangerously close to Orwell’s concept of “thought crime.”
I would say “welcome to Trump’s America,” but Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed this horrendous bill into law before Trump took office. Now that Louisiana’s Blue Lives Matter law is in full effect, the troubling consequences are already being felt across the state.
According to St. Martinville Police Chief Calder Hebert, if a man is arrested for the misdemeanor of stealing a candy bar from a convenience store, but then resists arrest, he can and will be charged with a felony hate crime and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for it. In fact, if someone is wrongly arrested, but then resists that wrongful arrest, instead of simply being charged with the misdemeanor of resisting arrest, they, too, can be charged with a felony hate crime against police. It doesn’t matter if they actually hate police or not, which would seem to be a necessary requirement of a hate crime, but resisting arrest is being made into a serious felony nonetheless.
Being charged with a crime doesn’t automatically mean you will be convicted. Committing a crime doesn’t even automatically mean you’re going to be charged for it. So on one hand I can see how putting this in law enforcement’s tool box may help calm down some potentially volatile situations. On the other, I don’t like giving any part of the government the authority to punish someone for what they allegedly think or believe.
One sure way to minimize your chances of being charged with resisting arrest though is to not resist arrest (or better yet, avoid situations that might get you arrested in the first place). King cites anecdotes where people were wrongfully accused of resisting arrest as an argument against truisms like that, but people get wrongfully accused of many crimes. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be crimes. There are undoubtedly countless anecdotes about police brutality that are self serving and completely made up (e.g. “hands up don’t shoot”). That doesn’t make police brutality any more acceptable.
Nobody wins when the truth is secondary to unconditionally supporting one’s tribe. That makes criminal justice just another form of party politics.