More Legislators Jump On The 'Blue Lives Matter' Bandwagon

from the still-plenty-more-'stupid'-in-the-Congressional-storerooms dept

Not wanting to be outdone by idiots in Congress, two idiot senators from the great state of Texas* are pushing their own "Blue Lives Matter" legislation. Senators Cruz and Cornyn have (re)introduced the Backed and Blown "Back the Blue Act," which adds mandatory minimums to any act of violence against most government officials. Oh, and for extra fun, automatic death penalty considerations for anyone charged under this act.

*Federal law requires the descriptor "great state of" to be appended to any state name, but especially Texas.

I'll get out of the way and allow Senator Cornyn to toot his own horn:

“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve families across Texas. Violent criminals who deliberately target those who protect and serve our communities should face swift and tough penalties and the Back the Blue Act sends that clear message. Every day, and particularly during National Police Week, we must give the men and women in blue our unparalleled support,” Sen. Cornyn said.

You hear that, you bunch of ungrateful Americans? No matter how many citizens are gunned down for holding game controllers or toddlers torched by carelessly-tossed flashbang grenades, these fine men and women are to be given "unparalleled support." They apparently "deserve" it -- a term that must be wholly divorced from the process of earning it.

Cruz and Cornyn's 2016 attempt died from a lack of attention, perhaps overshadowed by the DOJ's endless stream of scathing reports on police misconduct. With a new "tough on crime" DOJ boss at the helm and the DOJ's civil rights division neutered, the political climate seems a tad more receptive to glorifying government employees as lowercase-g gods. (But gods nonetheless.)

Several legislators have joined the two senators in stumping for underprotected government employees. Rep. Ted Poe (also of Texas) has plenty to say about the bill at his personal blog. He's all for it, naturally, but more importantly, he summarizes the harsh new penalties awaiting anyone who threatens, injures, kills, or conspires to do any of the above to a law enforcement officer.

Creates a new federal crime for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to the death penalty and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if death results; the offender would otherwise face a minimum sentence of 10 years.

Creates a new federal crime for assaulting a federally funded law enforcement officer with escalating penalties, including mandatory minimums, based on the extent of any injury and the use of a dangerous weapon. However, no prosecution can be commenced absent certification by the Attorney General that prosecution is appropriate.

Creates a new federal crime for interstate flight from justice to avoid prosecution for killing, attempting to kill, or conspiring to kill a federal judge, federal law enforcement officer, or federally funded public safety officer. The offender would be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for this offense.

Take a good look at the middle stipulation. This means pretty much every law enforcement officer in the nation will be covered by this law, instantly subjecting people who do nothing more than assault an officer (aka, resisting arrest, contempt of cop, etc.) to federal punishments. Almost every law enforcement agency in the nation receives some sort of federal funding. This bill would yank prosecutions out of locals' hands and, presumably, separate defendants from less-harsh local laws.

The bill also allows law enforcement officers (including those whose agencies are the recipients of federal funding) to carry weapons into places citizens can't. Nothing like adding an extra right to a long list of extra punishments.

This chaser would put two "Blue Lives Matter" bills in play, giving Congress multiple ways to make policing worse. Considering the Go Team Blue attitude on display at the White House, these bills have a home team advantage and a president dying to sign a few more citizens' rights and liberties away on behalf of law enforcement.

Filed Under: blue lives matter, free speech, hate speech, john cornyn, laws, police, ted cruz


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  1. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 May 2017 @ 8:20am

    Police Reform Suggestions

    Focus on the barriers to getting rid of the bad cops and maybe the rhetoric will die down enough for something positive to be accomplished.

    To that end I would recommend the following:

    Either get rid of qualified immunity, or make it much, much harder to qualify.

    Stop trying to create a new protected class out of whole cloth where the only qualification of that class is a uniform.

    Make it a requirement that the police know the laws they enforce, and enforce only those laws. Too many laws? Make the law simpler, sunset all laws every 7 years. The legislatures will tire of spending all of their time re-enacting laws and will simplify them so they can address new issues.

    Make it a requirement that police actually have to protect and serve.

    Remove policy and procedure where police have an opportunity to revise testimony after an incident. They should be subject to the same rules as the people they arrest.

    Eliminate the construct whereby police are believed automatically, let them show proof of allegations, not just their word.

    Hold police personally responsible for their actions (especially when there is a question of rights violations), along with the persons who supervise and control those actions, and not use taxpayers money to settle.

    Get rid of unions in public service positions. Treat those people fairly and give them some form of grievance arbitration that does not include striking or in some other way holding the public hostage.

    Stop allowing officers fired from one position for bad conduct to be allowed to serve in another position with another department or even in another jurisdiction, or to get rehired by the same department.

    There are probably some additional ideas...


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