Blue lives matter: Attacks on police based on their uniform should be a federal crime

2 Comments

Blue lives matter: Attacks on police based on their uniform should be a federal crime

As district attorney of Weld County, Colo., I sat across the table from victims of hate crimes. When a friend or family member lies dead in the street or comatose in the hospital, the hate cuts a wound deeper than the attacker’s weapon.

It’s clearly wrong for criminals to target individuals based on inherent traits or closely held behaviors and beliefs. It’s equally wrong for criminals to target individuals based on the color of their uniform. That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to make the intentional targeting of a police officer a federal hate crime.

Current federal hate crime laws enhance the sentence for criminals who target a victim simply because of the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The idea is that targeting someone for one of these immutable characteristics, behaviors, or closely held beliefs is an especially egregious attack on their humanity, and the emotional impact on the victim and his or her family is amplified.

When someone randomly shoots at a police officer, he’s creating the same environment and the same impact as other crimes of hate, which is why they should face prosecution under the federal hate crime statute.

Every week we hear examples of cases that qualify for charging cop killers with hate crimes. More and more often we’re witnessing hate-motivated attacks on police.

Police officers know they’ve engaged in a dangerous line of work. But someone must protect our neighborhoods and uphold justice in our cities. They’ve chosen to answer the call to duty, sacrifice and service to their community.

This is why a targeted attack on a police officer is especially jarring. The officer has committed his or her life to holding together the very fabric of the community, but the attacker seeks to destroy that life and that fabric.

These attacks on officers cause fear, devastation and feelings of alienation. The entire police force rides an emotional roller coaster, trying their best to protect the rest of society while coping with the devastating loss of one of their own and the threat to themselves and their loved ones.

These crimes against law enforcement have an impact far beyond the station headquarters. If we’re going to have justice and peace in our communities, we need an empowered, functional police department that’s not being torn apart by crimes of hate. Police officers under threat of random assassination simply for their uniform color can’t effectively fight all the other criminals in our community.

Not only will hate crimes against cops make the community less safe, they will also make the community less whole. Our cities and neighborhoods are diverse. Greeley, Colo., where I served as district attorney, saw the intermingling of people from a variety of different ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. Meshing various cultures, customs and faiths in one community can be challenging, but it’s absolutely necessary to achieve the unity that is required to form a cohesive society.

Police officers play a vital role in integrating these societies, because they protect all of our rights, and implement the system of justice that keeps us all safe. They may slip up sometimes. But our communities won’t be complete or whole if the very people charged with maintaining public order and enforcing the law are themselves the targets of vicious and hateful attacks.

The criminals who commit crimes against law enforcement seek to create a climate of intimidation and terror, one in which police officers and the folks they look out for every day live in fear of violent attacks. The Blue Lives Matter Act will make our communities safer by protecting those who protect us.

Read More: Blue lives matter

2 Comments

GOP bill would make violence against cops a hate crime

Comment

GOP bill would make violence against cops a hate crime

Rep. Ken Buck introduced legislation on Wednesday that would make violence against police officers a federal hate crime.

The Colorado Republican's bill is a response to increasing violence against police officers that has been seen in the wake of several high-profile police shootings. Those shootings prompted the launch of the "Black Lives Matter" movement, which in turn has led to a counter-movement that claims "All Lives Matter."

Buck's bill takes the debate a step further, as it's called the Blue Lives Matter Act. It would add violence against police officers to federal hate crime laws, and thus could lead to tougher sentences against people who commit violence against cops.

Read More: GOP bill would make violence against cops a hate crime

Comment

Here’s What You Need to Know About the ‘Blue Lives Matter Act’

Comment

Here’s What You Need to Know About the ‘Blue Lives Matter Act’

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.”

Read More: Here’s What You Need to Know About the ‘Blue Lives Matter Act’

Comment

Rep. Ken Buck Wants To Make Assaulting A Police Officer A Hate Crime

2 Comments

Rep. Ken Buck Wants To Make Assaulting A Police Officer A Hate Crime

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)– Colorado Congressman Ken Buck wants to make assaulting a police officer a federal hate crime. 

“There are more officers being targeted because of the fact that they’re police officers,” said Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican representing Colorado in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Buck believes it’s time Congress did more to protect those who protect us. He has introduced legislation that would add law enforcement to the list of groups protected under the federal hate crime statute. 

“And if anybody assaulted or killed a police officer, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal prosecutors would have the opportunity to investigate and prosecute those crimes,” said Buck. 

The bill comes amid increasing accusations of police brutality and racial profiling that have given rise to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Buck is calling his bill “Blue Lives Matter.”

Enter a URL to resolve.

2 Comments

Rep. Ken Buck introduces 'Blue Lives Matter' bill to make targeted killing of a police officer a hate crime

Comment

Rep. Ken Buck introduces 'Blue Lives Matter' bill to make targeted killing of a police officer a hate crime

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., introduced a bill in Congress that would make it a hate crime to target a police officer. 

Buck filed the measure Wednesday, he said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C. The bill, dubbed the Blue Lives Matter Act of 2016, would expand the federal hate crime statute to include law enforcement officers who are targeted for acts of violence because of their jobs. 

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 25 years before I started in this job,” the Windsor Republican said. “I’ve seen over and over both police officers on the street and federal agents, jail deputies and bureau of prison officials being threatened by very dangerous people. I have a passion for trying to protect those who protect us. That’s what this bill is about.”

Read More: Rep. Ken Buck introduces 'Blue Lives Matter' bill to make targeted killing of a police officer a hate crime

Comment

Conservative Lawmaker’s Bill Would Push Back Against Obama’s Executive Overreach

Comment

Conservative Lawmaker’s Bill Would Push Back Against Obama’s Executive Overreach

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., is still angry about the omnibus spending bill that passed through Congress more than two months ago.

Buck is frustrated—not only by what Congress included in the massive $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, but also by what Congress intentionally left out. He wants the legislature to reassert its rule-making authority by passing several conservative policy riders designed to push back against executive overreach.  

That’s why the House freshman class president says he’s introduced the Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendment Act.

“We need to keep fighting for the provisions in this bill, however long it takes,” Buck told The Daily Signal. “Our responsibility to reassert the constitutional power of Congress does not end simply because it is a new legislative year or even with a new president.”

Read More: Conservative Lawmaker’s Bill Would Push Back Against Obama’s Executive Overreach

Comment