OP-ED: The Facts About the ‘Deadly Force’ Bill

OP-ED: James Spillane talks about Deadly Force bill

I want to respond to all of the misinformation being spread regarding HB218. I will begin by stating that never have I referred to myself as a “Liberty Legislator” as the press has stated. I am a Republican, and a Constitutional Conservative.

I was asked by a colleague to co-sponsor a bill that would clarify the language of our statutes so that Police may not Kill a person to put them in handcuffs, but may only use deadly force when either themselves or someone else was under threat of harm. That is the essence of HB218 and why I agreed to co-sponsor the bill. Killing a person is not arresting them.

I never want to see another person with special needs, or diminished mental capacity, who cannot understand the process of arrest, shot and killed by an officer who could have affected the arrest without drawing a weapon. I am the father of a child with special needs. To me, HB218 is not a bill to remove from officers the ability to use deadly force to protect themselves and others in ANY situation where it is needed. No one wants that. I do not want that.

HB218 is a bill that seeks to ensure that trying to get handcuffs on someone is never used as justification for killing them if they pose no danger to the officer or anyone else. Those are the facts.

Despite the misleading hype from other parties, I have never sought to disarm the police, restrict the use of deadly force in response to real threats, nor have the other sponsors of HB218.


Representative James Spillane