Stop Putting Government on a Pedestal… Don’t Label Crimes against Police “Hate Crimes”

 

 

By Kevin Harris

In May, 2016, Louisiana became the first state to make attacking police officers (and firefighters) a hate crime. Since then, 13 more states, most of them Republican-led, have passed “penalty enhancements” for crimes against police, with more on the way. 

Once you get past the irony of Republicans pushing through hate crime legislation (don’t they usually oppose the concept?), you’re left with the realization that government’s slow but steady march toward elite status, with all its privileges, is all but unstoppable. 

Let’s get some perspective for a moment. We see Congress passing laws, whether about health care or gun restrictions, that they themselves are exempt from. We see individuals from every branch of government, to the White House itself, taking part in crimes ranging from minor offenses to high treason, without suffering so much as a slap on the wrist. We see state governors, along with their legislators, loot state utility funds and divert the money to pet projects, then raise taxes or risk major bridge collapses, pipe bursts or other disasters – without a single investigation. We see the average pay to most government employees far exceed similar jobs in the private sector, and that is before looking at their excessive, unsustainable retirement benefits. 

And then there’s the police. Countless PDs across the country continue to receive military combat equipment and vehicles, for little or no charge, from the Federal government – straight from the war zones of Iraq, Afghanistan or other battle sites. Equipment that citizens, in most cases, would never be allowed to get their hands on. Oh, and want to video your experience with police? Courts have so far deemed it legal for you to do so, but in many cases the police will lie to you and tell you that you can not. And let’s be honest… eventually the courts will tell you the same thing. Because that’s how they roll. 

And it is in that environment that you want to elevate police’ status above yours and mine even higher, by making it a worse crime to attack them than to attack, say, your child? 

My message to you (who support making crimes against police hate crimes) is, “snap out of it!” Every violent crime is a hate crime, and all lives matter. For God’s sake, stop putting government on a pedestal. In America, government was never meant to be on one, to be worshipped, to be treated different. Want to show police respect? Then show them respect! But not by disrespecting the rest of us. 

 


Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris is a reporter, editor and journalist, previous President of Cal State Northridge’s Society of Professional Journalists having worked for the LA Times and Newhall Signal. He is now also a Realtor and videographer, and lives with his two children in Thousand Oaks. 

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