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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: November 16, 2021 02:04 PM
From: Representative Sheryl M. Delozier
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting police officers when effectuating arrests
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that amends Section 5104 of the Crimes Code to provide that a person commits the offense of resisting arrest, a misdemeanor of the second degree, if they intentionally prevent or attempts to prevent a public servant from effecting a lawful arrest or discharging any other duty.  Under current law, a person is guilty of resisting arrest if he creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to the public servant or employs means justifying or requiring substantial force to overcome the resistance.  Law enforcement officers in this Commonwealth face a variety of different dangers and stressful situations in the line of duty.  These dangers are often exacerbated when attempting to effectuate an arrest, as suspects will often flee or violently resist the officer’s attempts to peacefully restrain them.  Indeed, in these situations, officers will commonly place themselves in harms way for the sake of the community and its safety. 
I believe it is onerous to require the presence of substantial risk of bodily injury or substantial force for an individual to be guilty under Section 5104.  When a suspect flees or forcibly resists a lawful arrest, the risk of death or serious bodily injury to the police officer is obviously magnified.  I believe it is unquestionable that these individuals who flee or otherwise attempt to prevent our officers from effectuating lawful arrests should be held accountable under the law.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to better protect and serve our Commonwealth residents. 

Introduced as HB2208