Tags: NYC Police Shot | violence | hate | crime | union

National Police Union Chief: Anti-Cop Attacks Are Hate Crimes

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 10:11 PM

Anti-police-fueled violence against officers should be prosecuted as a hate crime, the nation's largest police union says.

"Enough is enough! It’s time for Congress to do something to protect the men and women who protect us," the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Chuck Canterbury, said in a statement Monday.

The union, with more than 300,000 members, is asking that anti-police bias crimes be included under federal hate crimes statutes.

"Right now, it’s a hate crime if you attack someone solely because of the color of their skin, but it ought to be a hate crime if you attack someone solely because of the color of their uniform as well," said Jim Pasco, the executive director of the union, Yahoo News reports.

The organization says "ambush attacks" like the one in which New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were killed last month are frequently motivated by hatred of the police.

"In the last few years, ambush attacks aimed to kill or injure law enforcement officers have risen dramatically," Canterbury said. "Nineteen percent of the fatalities by firearm suffered by law enforcement in 2014 were ambush attacks."

Citing FBI statistics, Yahoo News reports about 21.7 percent of non-accidental law enforcement deaths since 2004 were ambush attacks, though the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty has declined since the 1970s.

Yahoo News reports New York Republican Rep. Peter King has been among GOP lawmakers who have sponsored union-backed bills.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the union's push is "something that we'll have to consider," adding the task force on policing convened by President Barack Obama would consider the hate crimes idea.

A hate crime is defined by Congress as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation," Yahoo news notes.

If local authorities decline to prosecute a hate crime, the federal government can take over, making hate crime offenders more likely to face prosecution.

The 1969 federal hate crimes statute has been expanded before. Sexual orientation and disability were added to the law by Congress in 2009, the Fraternal Order of Police notes.

"Congress saw a need to expand the law to protect a group of our fellow citizens who we suspected were being targeted as victims of violence," Canterbury said.

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Anti-police-fueled violence against officers should be prosecuted as a hate crime, the nation's largest police union says.
violence, hate, crime, union
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2015-11-05
Monday, 05 Jan 2015 10:11 PM
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