Several states have passed legislation to include law enforcement officers as a protected class within Hate Crime laws. Additionally, there is pending legislation in the United States Senate to add law enforcement officers as a protected class under the federal Hate Crimes Act. This is a step in the wrong direction for both state and federal legislatures for three main reasons. First, law enforcement officers are distinguishable from the currently protected classes. These classes have not only been marginalized in our society but have been targeted for reasons they have no control over. In contrast, including law enforcement officers as a protected class would offer protection to a group based on its choice of employment rather than an immutable characteristic. Second, many states have already implemented increased punishment for crimes committed against law enforcement. The federal government is no exception, as it has also already provided for law enforcement safety within its code. Finally, this trend could potentially have serious consequences across the board.



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