Session: 2021-2022

ACLU-PA Position: Opposes

SB 814 (PN 993) would create two new felony offenses: (1) prohibiting evading police arrest or detention on foot; and (2) harming a police animal while evading arrest or detention; resisting arrest; or disarming a law enforcement officer.

The duplicative and unnecessary crimes created by SB 814 would add to the tsunami of criminal offenses that arm police officers with more offenses to enforce (often selectively) and permit prosecutors to stack charges against defendants to use as leverage to force plea bargains, resulting in excessive incarceration. Its ill-defined provisions would create a toxic recipe for dangerously broad charges and would further exacerbate the grading inconsistencies that plague our crimes code.

Most alarming, SB 814 would criminalize the legal and constitutional right to run from law enforcement. There is little doubt that SB 814 would be used to charge young Black men and other people of color, who may be legally running from a police officer, with a felony offense.

Sponsors

Senator John Yudichak

Status

Passed committee

Session

2021 - 2022

Bill number

Position

Oppose