Kim Reynolds, Governor of Iowa, sent a resounding message last week that her state will continue to defend the police, regardless of the radical Left’s efforts to defund or eliminate the police entirely.

While visiting the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy on Thursday, Reynolds signed Senate File 342, known as the “Back the Blue Act,” expanding protections for police and further criminalizing civil unrest.

“In Iowa, we Back the Blue. Proud to sign the “Back the Blue Act” this morning at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy!”

According to a press release from Gov. Reynolds office, the sweeping legislation accomplishes a variety of measures including:

  • Making rioting a felony offense,
  • Increases penalties on other behaviors related to civil unrest,
  • Establishes qualified immunity for police officers,
  • Increases due process protections for law enforcement,
  • Disallows local governments from hindering the police from carrying out their duties,
  • Bans discrimination in the enforcement of the law,
  • And creates a process for citizens who believe their rights have been violated to file a complaint with the state Attorney General.

Note that the governor’s expansion of protections for police and the rule of law does not provide cover for any instances of real police misconduct, as it includes protections for civilians who have experienced wrongdoing by law enforcement.

Not only does the “Back the Blue Act” outright ban discrimination in the enforcement of the law, but it also establishes a process for citizens to bring their grievances to the Attorney General for further investigation.

“Today’s bill illustrates an important truth: there is no contradiction whatsoever between steadfast support for honorable and selfless law enforcement officers – the vast majority – and a commitment to improving law enforcement,” said Reynolds.

Iowa’s expanded protections for all residents shows that two things can be true at once: It is possible to both defend the police, and also recognize that they are not above the law.

While most police officers care about the community and equally enforcing the law, there are rare instances of overreach on law enforcement’s behalf. Those instances should be addressed and subject to investigation, as Reynolds’ “Back the Blue Act” acknowledges.

Instead of caving to the Left’s “defund the police” demands, other states should use Iowa’s legislation as a blueprint for how to move forward in this politically divided country.