Bill Summary for H 321 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Mar 16 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 321 (Public) Filed Tuesday, March 16, 2021
AN ACT TO RESTORE LAW AND ORDER IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BY HOLDING ACCOUNTABLE ANY PUBLIC OFFICIAL IN THIS STATE, WHETHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED, FOR THE CONSEQUENCES THAT OCCUR DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY FROM THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL'S ACT OF CAUSING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO "STAND DOWN" IN THE FACE OF VIOLENT CRIMINAL ACTIONS INCLUDING MURDER, RIOTING, LOOTING, PHYSICAL ASSAULT, DAMAGE TO PUBLIC OR PRIVATE PROPERTY, PULLING DOWN STATUES OR OTHER MEMORIALS OR MONUMENTS, VANDALISM, ARSON, OR ANY OTHER CRIMINAL ACT WITNESSED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND MAKING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IMMUNE FROM LIABILITY FOR ANY INJURY INFLICTED UPON PERPETRATORS OF THOSE CRIMES WHO RESIST APPROPRIATE EFFORTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO RESTRAIN THEM.
Intro. by Pittman, Brody, Kidwell.

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Bill summary

Section 1

Enacts new Article 31A, Interference with Law Enforcement Officers by Public Officials, in GS Chapter 14, providing as follows. Makes it unlawful for a public official (any person holding a State or local elected or appointed office) to interfere with a law enforcement officer in the performance of the officer's duties by causing or attempting to cause, a law enforcement officer to refrain from: (1) enforcing the laws of this state, (2) defending the citizens of this state against criminal activity, (3) defending the property of citizens of this state against criminal activity, or (4) defending the property of this state against criminal activity. Excludes the following public officials when they are making decisions for tactical, law enforcement related reasons: (1) sheriffs, (2) chiefs of police, and (3) other law enforcement officers whose regular duties include the direct supervision, direction, and deployment of law enforcement officers. Makes violations punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 per incident and (2) no less than seven nor more than 30 days incarceration, at the discretion of the sentencing judge, who is required to consider the severity of the damage. Allows a person committing a violation to be charged as an accessory after the fact to any criminal conduct committed by an individual that the public official protected or attempted to protect from the enforcement of the State's laws. Allows a person who commits a violation to be held civilly liable for any personal injury, death, theft, damage to State property, damage to personal property, financial loss, or civil liability resulting from the violation; allows six classes of individuals to bring the civil cause of action, including an immediate family member of a deceased person, a person that has suffered damage to or loss of real or personal property, and a representative of any State or local government or private entity that has suffered damage to or loss of real or personal property. Provides civil and criminal liability to a law enforcement officer using reasonable force for the death or injury of any person who is resisting the law enforcement officer in the performance of the officer's duties under the circumstances and while acting in good faith to enforce the State's laws, to defend the State's citizens against criminal activity, to defend the property of State citizens against criminal activity, and to defend the State's property. Deems any death or injury under the circumstances described above to have been caused by the individual who is killed or injured. Allows removing from office a public official who commits a violation, or a public official that refuses to charge, prosecute, or otherwise hold liable an individual that there is probable cause to believe has committed a violation and over whom the public official exercises jurisdiction. Effective December 1, 2021.

Section 2

Amends GS 100-2.1 as follows. Makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to willingly and knowingly violate the statute, which prohibits removing, relocating, or altering a monument, memorial, or work of art owned by the State without the approval of the North Carolina Historical Commission. The statute includes an exception for an object of remembrance that a building inspector or similar official has determined poses a threat to public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition; modifies this exception to require that the unsafe or dangerous condition be related to the object's structural or physical integrity. Specifies that this exclusion does not apply when the unsafe or dangerous condition, whether it is perceived or actual, is caused by or threatened to be caused by the intentional acts of an individual. Effective December 1, 2021.

Requires all statues, memorials, and monuments of this State or any local government that were removed or damaged before the enactment of this act to immediately be restored and returned to their original location, with the restoration and relocation expenses paid by the individuals responsible for the damage or removal, including elected and appointed officials.

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