State Representatives Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) and Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Township) introduced legislation Wednesday that would amend Ohio law to expand the definition of obstruction of justice.
“The purpose of this bill is to not only protect police officers that serve the public every day, but also to protect our citizens from any sort of harm,” Wilkin said. “Any legislation that protects the public and Ohio’s law enforcement officers is good policy in my book, and that’s exactly what this bill does.”
The legislation would add the specific language, “failure to follow lawful order from a law enforcement officer or diverting a law enforcement officer’s attention” to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2921.32) as constituting an obstruction of justice.
The additional language would make it a punishable crime for individuals to interfere with the duties of a law enforcement officer after a lawful order is given.
“After seeing the events that took place at the Ohio Statehouse last summer, and the events occurring across the country that threaten the public and law enforcement officers, it was clear to Representative Wilkin and I that something needed to be done,” LaRe said. “It’s time that we protect the brave men and women who work to protect us every day.”
Wilkin is serving his second term in the Ohio House of Representatives after being appointed during the 132nd General Assembly. He represents the 91st Ohio House District, serving residents of Clinton, Highland and Pike counties, as well as residents in a portion of Ross County.
LaRe is serving his first term in the Ohio House of Representatives after being appointed during the 133rd General Assembly, and represents the 77th Ohio House District, which includes most of Fairfield County in central Ohio.