In response to the seeming uptick recently in violence against law enforcement officers and other first responders, the legislature of Louisiana passed a bill that would make such crimes of violence a “hate crime” with added penalties.
According to the New York Daily News, the bill was signed into law Thursday by Democrat Gov. Jon Bel Edwards, and extends hate crime protections to police officers, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel who may fall victim to a violent crime solely because of their occupation.
“The men and women who put their lives on the line every day, often under very dangerous circumstances are true heroes and they deserve every protection that we can give them,” Edwards said in a signing statement.
The bill is dubbed the “Blue Lives Matter” bill, and is the first of its kind at the state level, though a similar bill has been introduced in Congress and other states are considering similar laws. It has angered members of the largely anti-cop Black Lives Matter movement, who argue that violence against police isn’t the same as violence against ethnic minorities.
“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,” proclaimed Allison Padilla-Goodman, regional director for the Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi branch of the Anti-Defamation League.
“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,” Padilla-Goodman stated in a previous news release.
Though Louisiana is the first state to officially make violence against police officers and other first responders a hate crime, it is not the only state to take protection of this particular class seriously, as many other states already consider violence against such targets as an aggravating criminal factor, resulting in steeper or additional penalties during sentencing.
Though we are in general opposed to the very idea of “hate crimes,” which literally favor some protected classes over others, even when they fall victim to the exact same crimes, we nevertheless applaud Louisiana for taking a stand in defending their first responders from those who would deliberately target them for violence, such as the cop-hating BLM activists, protesters and rioters.
H/T Weasel Zippers
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