Friday, July 29, 2016

#BlackLivesMatter: Governor Abbott Announces Police Protection Act


Governor Greg Abbott recently announced his push to support the Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter movements by attempting to strengthen penalties for crimes committed against law enforcement officers and he calls it the Police Protection Act: http://gov.texas.gov/news/press-release/22514



At a time when law enforcement officers increasingly come under assault simply because of the job they hold, Texas must send a resolute message that the State will stand by the men and women who serve and protect our communities... - Governor Abbott

Governor Abbott’s Police Protection Act includes the following proposals:

  • Extend hate crime protections to law enforcement officers;
  • Increase criminal penalties for any crime in which the victim is a law enforcement officer, whether or not the crime qualifies as a hate crime;
  • Create a culture of respect for law enforcement by organizing a campaign to educate young Texans on the value law enforcement officers bring to their communities;
"For example, under current law, assault with bodily injury is generally punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, while assault on a public servant, including a law enforcement officer, is a 3rd degree felony. Under Governor Abbott’s proposal, in cases where the assault is on a law enforcement officer, the penalty would increase to a 2nd degree felony."

Of course the corrupt and powerful police unions put their two cents into the mix, which brings up the point that they have too much power. There has to be a way to break their monopoly or powerful lobby with elected officials. Here is what they had to say:

"As a 26-plus year police officer in Houston, I’m extremely encouraged by Governor Greg Abbott’s legislative priority to make the State of Texas a national leader in protecting the lives of law enforcement officers. The attacks on law enforcement in Texas and the rest of our nation are unprecedented. Governor Abbott’s solution is the right approach for Texas law enforcement officers and the people of Texas who support them.

 – Ray Hunt, President, Houston Police Officers Association

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"We applaud Governor Abbott for recognizing the importance of protecting law enforcement officers in the state of Texas. False narratives and irresponsible anti-police rhetoric have put our officers in greater danger than ever before. This is an important step toward protecting those who protect the citizens of this great state.

– Kevin Lawrence, Executive Director, Texas Municipal Police Association

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The Dallas Police Association applauds Governor Abbott’s bold plan in response to the recent wave of attacks on police officers. Now is the time for our elected leaders across our state and country to do the right thing and join our Governor in his call to better protect police officers.
 
– Ron Pinkston, President, Dallas Police Association

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"The Sheriff's Association of Texas is very pleased to hear our Governor is behind an effort to protect peace officers across our state. Every Texas Sheriff feels this should be a precedent for the leadership in other states to follow, and we support our Governor. We look forward to working with the Governor during the 2017 legislative session to pass these important protections.

– Grimes County Sheriff Donald Sowell, President, The Sheriff's Association of Texas

Here is my take, this is based in racism and is clearly using a tragedy to enforce a policy of policing that already exists. In other words, this policy legalizes police brutality and makes it much easier to attack those of us exercising our constitutional rights to freedom of speech and protest. Our peaceful actions can be deemed an attempted hate crime toward crooked cops who are the ones that commit hate crimes and escape punishment. The fact is that this attempt to include law enforcement as a protected class is moot. The current state laws already provides a remedy, and this act would not actually provide police officers with any greater protection than current laws. What Abbott is doing here, is an attempt to further criminalize our Blackness, by criminalizing our thoughts. Our thoughts and thought processes that are used to call out systems of oppression can be called hate speech. This act would literally designate ALL of our actions and words as a hate crime, leading to unconstitutional application of penalties and unnecessary punishment. We must fight against this effort to further these racist attempts to criminalize Blackness.

CALL YOUR LOCAL STATE REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS TO LET THEM KNOW TO KILL THIS ACT SHOULD IT REACH THE LEGISLATURE.