It’s a first for the so-called Blue Lives Matter movement: The Louisiana Legislature has passed a bill that expands hate-crime laws to include protections for police and other first responders.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who comes from a family of sheriffs, is expected to sign the bill into law.
“The legislation allows Louisiana prosecutors to seek stiffer penalties against people convicted of intentionally targeting police officers, firefighters or emergency medical crews,” NPR’s Debbie Elliott reports.
Debbie notes that the measure passed easily in both the state House and Senate.
With progressives and the media (But I repeat myself) spending the last two years doing everything they can to whip up negative public sentiment against law enforcement in the United States, it’s nice to see some people willing to take a public stand in support of police.
Naturally, some are offended:
A former East Baton Rouge parish attorney told NBC that the bill was unnecessary.
“As a former prosecutor I know for a fact that battery of a police officer is already covered by other laws here in Louisiana,” Terrel Kent told NBCBLK. “To include essential peace officers, sheriffs, law enforcement officials or first responders is a slap in the face to protected classes.”
Protected classes in the state’s current hate-crime legislation are: race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry and organizational affiliation.
The Anti-Defamation League, an advocate for hate-crime laws, opposes the Louisiana legislation. In a statement earlier this month, the organization said hate-crime laws “should remain limited to immutable characteristic, those qualities that can or should not be changed.” The group also said it was concerned the addition in Louisiana would “open the door” to other categories being worked into such laws.
While it is undeniable that there are bad cops out there, the majority of them are not. It is already an extremely dangerous profession, and the loudmouth leftist activists who have been portraying law enforcement as a whole as problematic are making the job even more perilous. Handling it through legislation seems a calmer approach than just letting the shrillest voices be allowed to heighten tensions in pursuit of attention.