Growing violence towards police officers has sparked a representative from Birmingham to encourage his peers to pass a new law. The law would define police officers as a protected group and violence against them would be considered hate crimes, which often carry with them more severe sentences.
While the bill is still being written, Rogers says he wants to introduce the legislation when the next session starts in February. This isn't the first bill that's been proposed in reaction to violence towards police. Last year a bill known as the "Thin Blue Line" was proposed to the U.S. House of Representatives by Jeff Sessions. Its goal is to make police and first responders safer.
Statistically, violence against police officers is actually down. It was its worse in the 1970s. During this time nearly 300 officers will killed a year. As of 2010, 175 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. The FBI measured a further 20 percent drop between 2014 and 2015.
Despite those figures, tension between police and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the recent murders of law enforcement, have created concern among the public.
Being a first responder is one of the most difficult things to do. It's dangerous and it takes a toll on you, both physically and emotionally. However, is it fair to classify their job as a protected group similar to ethnicity, race, or gender? There are many factors to consider in this discussion. What do you think?
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