An opinion piece from The Hill clues me in to a quiet yet ominous vote:
The House of Representatives recently observed Police Week by passing the Protect and Serve Act. The vote, at 382-35, was as lopsided as the bill is misguided. Although paved with good intentions, the bill would duplicate state laws, erode federalism, and do little to advance its stated aim of supporting local police. The Senate should think long and hard about whether to follow the lower chamber’s lead.
Under the House bill, knowingly assaulting or attempting to assault a law enforcement officer causing “serious bodily injury” would be punishable by fines and up to 10 years imprisonment. Offenses that involve kidnapping or result in death could bring up to life in prison.
The Senate proposal adopts the federal hate crime framework to proscribe “knowingly caus[ing] bodily injury to any person, or attempt[ing] to do so, because of the actual or perceived status of the person as a law enforcement officer,” and carries the same penalties.
While both intend to address the tragic rise in targeted ambush attacks against police, neither would meaningfully help to resolve that problem. Federal laws already reach any assault that the government would have a compelling reason to prosecute, such as attacks on federal property or against federal employees, including federal law enforcement officers.
All 50 states, meanwhile, criminally punish attacks against state or local police officers. The odds are nil that any state or locality would refuse to prosecute such crimes. …
I agree entirely. More than that, you read it right: the Senate wants to make violence against a police officer of any jurisdiction a Federal hate crime. We go to the source:
What the bill does
The Protect and Serve Act would categorize crimes against law enforcement as hate crimes, and significantly increase penalties accordingly.
The House bill makes any intentional attempt to physically harm a law enforcement officer a federal crime, and would imprison all offenders for a maximum of 10 years. That increases to life in prison if the officer is killed.
The Senate version goes a step further, by classifying such attacks against law enforcement not just as a federal crime but as a hate crime. However, the prison sentences would still be the same.
This is a power grab of monumental proportions. It doesn’t look like a power grab because Congress is seizing responsibility instead of power but the two are really the same thing. Once you have responsibility for something then you’re entitled to the power to carry out your responsibility.
Once the Feds are, by their unsolicited decree, the ones to investigate & punish crimes against cops, they’ll have authority over how cops do business. Standard Operating Procedures are the staple of police work (any bureaucracy, really) and once the Feds give themselves an interest in every use-of-force situation, they’ll have significant authority over those SOPs.
And using hate crime legislation for a template? “Hate crimes” are crimes committed against politically protected groups. Their usage is notoriously corrupt. “Thought crimes”, more like. What’s to stop Congress from passing this law and then redefining “attempting to cause bodily injury to law enforcement” to include verbal statements? It’s already sexual assault to notice a woman is pretty. And when’s the last time a white man survived using the word “nigger” in public?
Not that you should hit a cop but if you do, should that be a Federal hate crime? It wasn’t long ago that hitting a cop was punished by the cop grinning and hitting you back. Cheap, fun and effective! But now we hire Disney Princesses instead of giant chunks of meat. Ohhh… right. Barbie must be protected, even when she puts on a badge and goes looking for trouble. No wonder the voting was near-unanimous. Even getting reelected can’t unite Congress as completely as pandering to feminists.
91% of our Representatives have violated their oaths of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution with this vote alone. Forget about making America great again; let’s make perjury a crime again.