House-approved “Stay Back” bill clears Senate committee. Lets cops demand you remain 25-feet away while they work

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A House-passed bill giving police the power to tell you to “stay back” while they’re engaged in their job passes out of a Senate Judiciary committee and will go to a Senate floor vote. In committee, bill sponsor and Pineville Republican Rep. Mike Johnson tells members the bill is about diffusing potentially volatile situations, and is not an overreach by government…:

“It’s not like I cannot approach a police officer. It’s only when the police officer feels it’s necessary and exercises his right for space,” says Johnson.

The bill states that if a cop in commission of his job tells you to stay back, you must keep at least 25-feet distance. Johnson says it will help avoid misunderstandings that can become violent. New Orleans Democrat Senator Gary Carter doesn’t like the bill and tells Johnson so…:

(Carter) “Do you think that’s perhaps government overreach?” (Johnson) “I don’t. Not given the harm we’re trying to prevent; I do not.”

Also opposed, Megan Gentry, with the Louisiana association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, who feels the 25-foot rule in the bill is unconstitutionally vague. She says when the bill was in House Criminal Justice Committee, the distance confused them too…:

“Everybody…all the members…were all trying to guess what’s 25 feet. Nobody knew.”

Despite the objections, and one failed attempt to defer the bill…the committee voted 4-2 to send HB 85 to the Senate for what could be final passage.

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