Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, four major civil rights groups sent a letter to U.S. Senators urging them to oppose introduction and co-sponsorship of the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, which would extend hate crime protections to law enforcement officers. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Human Rights Watch oppose the Protect and Serve Act for four crucial reasons:

  1. Police already have substantial protections under federal and state law, rendering the bill superfluous. 
  2. Hate crimes laws are intended to extend protection to historically persecuted groups that have experienced systemic discrimination based on a personal characteristic; law enforcement officers are not a historically persecuted group.
  3. The bill signals that there is a “war on police,” which is not only untrue, but an unhelpful and dangerous narrative to uplift.
  4. The bill is divisive and will have a negative impact on the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

As the letter notes, “At a time when we need to foster healing between law enforcement and our communities, we should not be considering legislation which not only does nothing to advance the goal of officer safety, but will further erode the relationship between police and communities.”

Read the full letter here.



Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.