Read a PDF of our statement here.
NAACP Legal Defense Fund Urges Missouri General Assembly to Oppose
Proposed Enhanced Penalties for Crimes Against Law Enforcement
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) sent a letter today to members of the Missouri General Assembly urging legislators to oppose late additions to S.B. 34 and H.B. 304, which would increase the sentencing penalties for certain crimes committed against law enforcement officers. While LDF supports efforts to advance responsible policing practices that ensure the safety and wellness of both law enforcement and the communities they serve, these provisions do nothing to achieve this goal. LDF Policy Director Todd A. Cox issued the following statement in response:
“The last-minute addition of penalty enhancements for crimes targeting law enforcement is an overt display of political posturing and appears to be a backlash against Missourians working towards better law enforcement training and accountability in the wake of Michael Brown’s tragic death. This proposal fails to advance officer or public safety. Instead, it lends credibility to the harmful and unsubstantiated claims of a ‘war on police,’ and will exacerbate the divisions between law enforcement and the communities they serve. We urge lawmakers to reject this regressive measure, and enact legislation that will actually further constitutional policing in Missouri.”
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.