‘Blue Lives Matter’ Bill Seeks To Protect Cops
A Louisiana bill has been created to expand the state’s hate-crimes statute to add the targeting of police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel.
The bill, known as the “Blue Lives Matter” bill, has passed both chambers of the Louisiana legislature. It will now head to Gov. John Bel Edwards for consideration. CNN reports the governor is expected to sign the bill soon.
Louisiana would become the first state to have such a bill like this.
The bill was authored by State Rep. Lance Harris after Texas Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth was shot and killed while in his uniform last August.
“It looked like it was strictly done because someone didn’t like police officers, like a hate crime,” Harris said. “In the news, you see a lot of people terrorizing and threatening police officers on social media just due to the fact that they are policemen. Now, this [new law] protects police and first-responders under the hate-crime law.”
Former police Lt. Randy Sutton, a spokesman for Blue Lives Matter, says he classifies police officers as a minority group.
“[The bill] is important because symbolically it advises that there is a value to the lives of police officers,” he said. “When you give value, it acts as a deterrent in one sense, but it also is a tool to add extra punishment for the assaults and the crimes against them.”