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New Law Makes it Unlawful to Refuse to Comply with Police

St. Charles City Council approved a new law designed to give St. Charles Police Officers more ability to handle problems on Main Street.

Failing to listen when a police officer asks you to leave an area can get you arrested in St. Charles under a new law recently approved by the city council. 

City Council on July 24 passed a city ordinance that makes interfering with law enforcement officers a misdemeanor violation.

The new law (section 215:635) says:

It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly hinder, obstruct, willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of,

or otherwise interfere with any law enforcement officer in the discharge of the officer's official duties,

or to attempt to rescue from such officer any person in the officer's custody,

or to aid in the escape of, or set at liberty, any person while in the officer's custody. 

For purposes of this section, the words "law enforcement officer" shall include a police service technician.

Interim Police Chief Larry Stulce said the law will help police officers who work in the "entertainment" district on Main Street. 

Stulce said if a person were to give a false name to police officers, that would be interfering with his or her duties. 

It gives officers another way to handle unruly crowds when they are responding to a fight, he said. 

"It'll help a lot with officers and performing of their duties and make prosecution easier," he said. 

Main Street has several bars and restaurants on North Main Street which attract late-night crowds. Business owners and residents who live downtown as they disperse. 

Several businesses have been broken into overnight, including Oh La La and the . There were 69 calls reporting a fight in progress between January 1 and July 10, 2012, according to a report prepared by Major Ed Mitchell.

There were 1,273 calls to police about issues on Main Street, according to the report. 

The number of incidents involving late-night visitors to Main Street prompted Mayor Sally Faith to create a security taskforce to brainstorm possible solutions. 

Jack August 01, 2012 at 03:13 PM
The key is the term "lawful order". Can the police decide, on the spot, what is lawful? What is "lawful"? A police state? For whom do the police work? The people? Or the encroaching, no galloping, tyranny such as laws like this.
Nicole Nardoni-Hercules August 01, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Great news!!! Finally the police are being given a way that the can help keep main street safe. Perhaps it is my age (I am well into my 30's), but when my husband and I go down there for dinner and an evening out I like to feel safe. Sad that people who can't handle their liquor or temper make laws like this needed. If people knew how to act in public perhaps things would be different....
Mr. Young August 08, 2012 at 11:37 AM
This is a bad law. Note the wording of 215.630.D below. We now have a tyrannical city government that has given LE the power to arrest you for saying no to a law enforcement officer. "Contempt of cop" is now illegal even when that cop is violating the law and you call him on it. 215.630: Resisting or Interfering. B. This Section applies to: 1. Arrests, stops or detentions with or without warrants; 2. Arrests, stops or detentions for any crime, infraction or ordinance violation; and D. It is no defense to a prosecution under Subsection (A) of this Section that the Law Enforcement Officer was acting unlawfully in making the arrest. However, nothing in this Section shall be construed to bar civil suits for unlawful arrest. 215.635: Refuse to Comply. A. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly hinder, obstruct, willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of, or otherwise interfere with any law enforcement officer in the discharge of the officer's official duties, Where is the press? Where is the media? Where are the liberty seeking citizens of St Charles? Shame on you St. Charles and shame on the Mayor for allowing this to occur on his watch. We citizens of St. Charles are one step closer to a British style police state. Sad day for liberty.
David August 09, 2012 at 10:48 PM
This is a joke.

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