"Blue Lives Matter"

House Bill Number: 
14

House Bill 14 seeks to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement and upend hate crimes law by adding the occupations of police and first responders as a protected class.

HB 14 passed the House, 77-13-1, on February 11. See how House members voted HERE.

Bill Sponsor(s): 
Rep. Kevin Bratcher

HB 14 is aimed at diminishing the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, and does nothing to increase protections for law enforcement personnel. Also, there  already are increased criminal penalties for harming a police officers, first responders and certain other public employees.
This bill is very controversial. The following analysis by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is helpful: "While violence against police officers is entirely unacceptable, these type of bills are very concerning for several reasons. First, these bills could create hundreds of new and enhanced offenses which would result in increased incarceration. Even minor offenses, like resisting arrest, could be subject to extreme sentencing enhancements. Second, these bills misunderstand the very purpose of hate crimes - to protect communities that have been marginalized within our society and who are at a higher risk of facing violence simply because of an immutable characteristic they share. Police officers do not fit this understanding of a protected class, because (1) police officers have never been historically marginalized, (2) their choice of profession is not an immutable characteristic, and (3) as a community, they are already protected in all 50 states by laws that make it a serious crime to assault or kill a police officer. If we decide to expand hate crimes beyond marginalized groups who share an immutable characteristic, there is a significant risk that any group that is viewed as unpopular could receive special protections and corresponding enhanced offenses."

KFTC's Position: 
KFTC Opposes