Across the country, state legislatures have responded to a very real and ongoing national policing crisis by proposing “Blue Lives Matter” legislation, which is often more of a political statement than anything else. Kentucky’s House Bill 14 is one such bill and is no less divisive and unnecessary than those introduced in other states. It is vital that the citizens of Kentucky urge Gov. Matt Bevin to veto it.
Like the bills introduced in other states, HB 14 aims to amend Kentucky’s hate crimes law to include police officers and other first responders as protected groups, including them with victims who are targeted with bias-motivated crimes based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin. While supporting officer-safety is a laudable goal, HB 14 is profoundly misguided. It undermines public safety by creating a strain on community-police relations and does nothing to advance the safety or wellness of Kentucky’s police officers.
Read the full op-ed here.