As race relations between police officers and the Black community continue to remain tense, a new law in Louisiana is set to officially declare any violence against police as a hate crime.
The law, commonly referred to as the “Blue Lives Matter” bill, will legally classify any attacks against police officers, EMTs or firefighters as hate crimes, which will in turn ensure that offenders automatically face harsher punishments as a consequence. Despite the fact that violence against cops has seen a decline in recent years as police brutality incidents continue to increase, Louisiana state representative Lance Harris says he believes the new bill is necessary.
“I certainly do think there is a need for it,” Harris said. “If you’re going to have an extensive hate crime statute then we need to protect those that are out there protecting us on a daily basis,” he recently told CNN.
Interesting how lawmakers are quick to enact bills to protect police officers when it’s the often unarmed civilians who are constantly losing their lives in confrontations with cops at an alarming rate. The New Orleans chapter of Black Youth Project 100 group has petitioned for the Louisiana government to veto the bill, pointing out that giving preferential treatment to officers of the law in the wake of the growing police brutality issue will do little to help solve the problem. “The “Blue Lives Matter” bill is an insidious attempt to destabilize our First Amendment rights as community members who hold the police, and others sworn by oath to serve and protect, accountable,” the organization said in an official statement posted to their a website. “Including ‘police’ as a protected class in hate crime legislation would serve to provide more protection to an institution that is statistically proven to be racist in action, policy, and impact.”
Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards is expected to sign the bill this week.
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