Republican Representative Ken Buck from Colorado introduced a new piece of legislation after the first two months of 2016 proved to be exceptionally deadly for law enforcement. His home state of Colorado has lost 3 officers in the line of duty, and 24 have been killed nationwide.
According to FBI data, the two most common causes of felonious police fatalities are arrest and ambush situations:Image Credit: Dayton Daily News
The “Blue Lives Matter Act” attempts to lower the statistics. Its name references the “Black Lives Matter” mantra claimed by protesters who speak out against police violence, particularly that against black Americans.
Rep. Buck explains that the “Blue Lives Matter Act,” H.B. 4760, would officially classify attacks on police officers as federal “hate crimes”:
“Despite the risk, our law enforcement officers put on their uniform every day so that they can serve our communities. Whether based on skin color or uniform color, a crime motivated by hate is not going to be tolerated in America.
By adding law enforcement to the federal hate crime statute, we can protect those who protect us.”
If H.B. 4760 is passed and attacks on law enforcement do become federal hate crimes, the door would then be opened to FBI involvement and federal investigations when city and state level police are attacked. Sentences for those convicted would also become more severe.Image Credit: Jewel Samad / Getty Images
And Buck says that it’s about time:
“Law enforcement officers hold together the fabric of America, serving our communities and protecting us from criminals.
But in the last few years, many criminals have committed or attempted the murder of police officers solely based on the color of their uniform,”
Ron Hosko, president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, told The Blaze that he agrees and has offered his full support to the bill:
“Too often in America, our police are violently assaulted. FBI data suggests police are victims of assaults approximately 50,000 times or more in a typical year.
Recent tensions resulting from controversial encounters between police and citizens are likely to drive those numbers upward, much as we’ve seen concerning rises in violent crime in many of our largest cities.”
And while Weld County, Colorado Sheriff Steve Reams said that he never liked the idea of “hate crimes”:
“When you talk about hate crime legislation, that’s always kind of a tough area. What makes the assault, or the murder, of a person of a specific background any more or less heinous than someone who doesn’t fit into one of those categories?”
He too agrees that this may be a necessary step:
“It shows that there are some legislators who are behind our efforts as law enforcement officers and understand that the job we do is a dangerous one at times.”