Republican Congressman Ken Buck introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would qualify attacks on police, motivated by their status as law enforcement officers, as hate crimes. With recent ambush murders of police in New York, Las Vegas, Maryland, and other places, it is entirely appropriate to add law enforcement to the list of protected classes, as long as we continue to have hate crimes on the books.
In a Dear Colleague letter, Buck urges other Members of Congress to support his bill, explaining that crimes against the police based on their status as law enforcement officers cause the same kind of harm to communities as crimes committed against victims because of their status as a racial or religious minority.
Buck’s bill, titled the Blue Lives Matter Act of 2016, would allow the U.S. Department of Justice in certain circumstances to prosecute individuals who committed attacks against victims because of the actual or perceived status of that victim as a member of the law enforcement community. There is a seven-year statue of limitations for offenses not resulting in death, and for crimes resulting in death, there is no statute of limitations.
Thank you Rep. Buck for reminding all of us the Blue Lives Matter, and more importantly, thanks to all of our brave law enforcement officers working to make our communities safer every day.