Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Law Making Attacks On Cops A "Hate Crime"? A Bad Idea

While one can (and must ) surely sympathize with the families of police officers recently slain in Dallas and Baton Rouge, given they were doing their best to uphold the law, it is definitely a step too far to try to pass a law (H.R. 4760) making attacks on cops a hate crime. There are dozens of reasons for this but I plan to examine the main ones here.

As today's Editorial in The Denver Post puts it:

"An effort in Congress to make the act of targeting a police officer for violence a hate crime strikes us as unnecessary even while we encourage a serious discussion of the bill's motivations".

The Post goes on to note this bill (H.R. 4760) is being sponsored by Rep. Ken Buck, of Greeley, CO,  and also with the assistance of the "Blue Lives Matter" bunch. (See link at the end). The legislation was actually filed by Buck  earlier this year before the police killings. The bandwagon was then jumped on by looneytune Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke and his 'Blue Lives Matter' counter meme to Black Lives Matter.  (Fortunately, Milwaukee actually has a sane representative of law enforcement - Police Chief Edward A. Flynn.
Image result for milwaukee police chief
Chief Flynn, like Dallas Chief David Brown is intelligent and gave an articulate, compelling address in the ABC televised 'The President and the People'.  He is absolutely the antithesis of the clownish, gun crazy zombot cartoon embodied by David Clarke, a guy who really needs to be replaced and given the job of dog catcher.

Moving on, Buck himself is best remembered (or not?) for his clamoring to pass a constitutional amendment on behalf of "personhood" 5 years ago in this state which would have made all abortions unconstitutional.  This is based on the fetus being assigned a specious "personhood".  It also would  have made pregnant women liable to arrest and prosecution for any acts deemed "irresponsible" to said "person"  under Sections (3), (6) and (25).   Such violations of the amendment might include everything from going to the top of Pike's Peak (where the oxygen is one fifth that at sea level), to having a couple drinks at a bar to going horse back riding or white water rafting.

I bring Buck's past up merely to show he already has a rep for proposing extreme legislation. His push for a law making attacks on cops a hate crime is in the same category because it conflates the legal definition (pertaining to a group's genetic or social identity) with the choice of one's employment.

In the first case, one cannot help if he or she is black, or gay by virtue of birth and/or genetics. Therefore, attacks against them as "black apes" or "faggots" (sic)  amount to hate crimes since there is no option or choice that arises. A black person cannot change his or her skin color at will, after all, to make it less likely they will  be stopped, frisked,  beaten or shot for walking while black, driving while black ....or (as in a recent case in North Miami) helping one's autistic charge cross a street while black. In the latter incident, the black man targeted by 3 cops actually lay down on the sidewalk with hands up in the air and he was still shot, in the leg. See e.g.

In the second case, one chooses to put oneself in harm's way by being a cop, in much the same way one chooses to put oneself in harm's way by signing up to be an Army volunteer - ending up in Afghanistan.

In other words, one does not become  a cop by accident of birth or genetics, such that special protection is warranted for an identity one could not control.

As The Post Editorial notes:

"We  believe that being a police officer is not a part of one's identity. You're not born a police officer."

Exactly. Hence, under current legal parameters applied to hate crimes, with the definition:

 A crime, usually violent, motivated by prejudice or intolerance toward an individual's national origin, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability

The Post continues:

"Further, police are provided many protections already. We arm them and grant them great leeway in use of deadly force. We protect them with body armor and other gear. Rarely do juries charge officers who kill offenders."

Indeed, and as we beheld in Dallas, they even have bomber robots at their disposal to blow up a bad guy with the armed robot suddenly the judge, jury and executioner all in one.

So no, cops don't need a hate crime protection in addition to all their military level equipment too.  Buck and his cohort would be better served focusing on improved police training instead of firing first and asking questions later. Also, several pages could be taken from Dallas Chief David Brown's book based on his community policing and firing bad eggs publicly. I warrant such policies would have vastly bigger impacts than creating a special "hate crime" law for an occupation.

See also:

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