‘Blues Lives Matter’ Bill Classifies Police As Minority, Making Attacks Against Them Hate Crimes

Louisiana is poised to pass a first of its kind bill, designating police officers, firefighters, and EMS officers as minorities, and consequently making attacks against them hate crimes.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is set to sign the bill into law, which will consider crimes against law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel the same as attacks motivated by race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

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State Rep. Lance Harris, the author of Louisiana’s HB 953, said the purpose of the legislation is to prevent officers of the law and first responders from being “terrorized.”

There is a concerted effort in some areas to terrorize and attack police and I think this will go forward and stop that,” Harris said. “In the news, you see a lot of people terrorizing and threatening police officers on social media just due to the fact that they are policemen. Now, this (new law) protects police and first responders under the hate-crime law.

However, not everyone is as enthusiastic about the bill.

The Blue Lives Matter bill is wholly unacceptable. Police who carry lethal weapons & have practically unchecked power need more protection?

The so-called “Blue Lives Matter” bill, which has already passed both houses, has sparked outrage. Those who oppose the bill say that one’s chosen profession is fundamentally different from true minority status.

In a statement, Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Allison Padilla-Goodman said they are “not happy that it is being signed into law.”

The bill confuses the purpose of the Hate Crimes Act and weakens its impact by adding more categories of people, who are already better protected under other laws,” writes Padilla-Goodman.

Hate Crimes are designed to protect people’s most precious identity categories … like race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, and gender identity. Proving the bias intent is very different for these categories than it is for the bias intent of a crime against a law enforcement officer.

If Edwards moves forward and signs the bill the current hate crime law will be amended to read:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to select the victim of the following offenses against person and property because of actual or perceived race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry of that person or the owner or occupant of that property or because of actual or perceived membership or service in, or employment with, an organization, or because of actual or perceived employment as a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel.”

Featured image via Black Matters

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