Several states are now seeing a push for “Blue Lives Matter” laws to give special protection to police officers.
In Pennsylvania, State Rep. David Zimmerman is introducing a bill which would add an additional charge on a perpetrator who has targeted their victim for a crime they are a police officer. The memorandum for the bill, “Blue Lives Matter – Expansion to Include Police, Fire & EMS – Ethnic Intimidation Statute (Prior HB2268)” reads, in part:
“We have witnessed an increased targeting of first responders –police, firefighters and emergency medical services providers – simply because of their service on the front lines, protecting our citizens. This is intolerable and I believe we should extend the same additional protection we now provide to crimes motivated by hatred of a person’s race, religion or ethnicity to crimes motivated by the victim’s service in a police department, professional or volunteer fire department or emergency medical services provider.”
Wisconsin State Rep. David Steffen wants a similar law put into place in his state.
Steffen reportedly said, “So if an assault happens against a police officer, specifically because he’s a police officer, a judge and district attorney will have the opportunity to increase those penalties and prison times to appropriately punish those people. What it does is elevate specific actions against law enforcement to a hate crime.”
Mississippi is considering nearly identical legislation, aimed at making police officers into a protected class.
Louisiana passed similar legislation in May 2016, extending hate crime protections to police officers. The “Blue Lives Matter” movement has gained the ire of some on the left, who see it as undermining the Black Lives Matter movement.
Shooting deaths of police officers spiked 56 percent in 2016.