In Wake Of Officer Deaths, Police Organization Calls For Hate Crime Protection
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Four different officers across the country were attacked over the weekend and the National Fraternal Order of Police wants the government to take action. Their solution is pushing legislation to classify targeting police officers as a hate crime.
"I kind of have mixed feelings about it," said Kiera Davis, a student at Sacramento City College.
"Yeah I don't like it," said former military police officer Ryan Vogel.
It's a sensitive topic in 2016, a year that saw the deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11: the shooting of five officers in Dallas back in July.
"You're talking about people who are being specifically targeted because of their professional calling, because of the uniform they wear," said John McGinness, former Sacramento County Sheriff.
The FOP released this statement saying they "will be making an immediate push to introduce legislation expanding protections for law enforcement officers under the Federal hate crime statute."
"I don't have any objection to that," McGinness said. "In fact, I think there's a sound rationale for that. There are people who for whatever reason, are ideologically predisposed to bring harm to law enforcement officers. Therefore, to classify them as other specifically protected class victims, I think makes some sense."
The federal hate crime statute covers any offenses to a person because of "actual or perceived race, color, religion or national origin." But Vogel doesn't think police officers fall into that category.
"It's not a protected class," he said. "There's reasons why we have protected classes and being a police officer is not one of them."
Davis is on the fence but told CBS 13 she's not sure passing legislation would actually stop assaults against police officers.
"I feel that it would better if they kind of approached the communities in a different way, because obviously what they've been doing hasn't been working."
Instead, she thinks officers need to improve the relationships with the people they serve every day.
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