As if blue privilege in the form of qualified immunity, special treatment under the law, ability to break laws they enforce, get out of jail free cards, “blue lives matter” laws, and every other perk that comes from wearing a badge, wasn’t enough, cops in Georgia have granted themselves yet another benefit.
As of January 1, 2021, a new law went into effect with the Orwellian title of “Bias Motivated Intimidation of First Responders Prosecution Act.” On top of granting cops the ability to sue citizens for harassment, it also criminalizes said harassment.
Given the subjective nature of what can be defined as “harassment,” this new law is worrisome as it can land a person in prison for up to five years. The law is worded like it was written by the very personification of the American police state.
A person commits the offense of bias motivated intimidation when such person maliciously and with the specific intent to intimidate, harass, or terrorize another person because of that person’s actual or perceived employment as a first responder.
Any person that violates subsection (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of the offense of bias motivated intimidation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one nor more than five years, a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.
According to the legislation, a person could serve 1-5 years in prison if found guilty of maliciously harassing a first responder, causing bodily harm, death or damage to property. So, if you yell at a cop because he killed a kid in your neighborhood, this could be interpreted as “bias motivation” and used to imprison of fine you.
It is already illegal to cause bodily harm and death to people as well as harassment and property damage. By making it “especially bad” to cause bodily harm, death and property damage when a police officer is involved, this law’s entire purpose becomes quite overt — it grants privileged status to cops.
The NAACP and the ACLU both agree.
“The bill creates enhanced penalties for people who target law enforcement and other first responders. It also includes a false misconduct provision that allows police officers to sue for false misconduct claims,” the NAACP said of the bill when it was presented last year, referring to is as the “Police Hate Crime Bill.
The ACLU correctly points out that it “turns law enforcement into a protected class.”
“The ACLU of Georgia opposes HB 838, the addition of law enforcement as a protected class, a dangerous step to chill every Georgian’s First Amendment freedom of speech and the right to protest to redress grievances – guarantees in the U.S. Constitution,” the ACLU said.
Naturally, police are claiming the current climate of mass protests makes the law necessary. People are protesting, according to police, because they simply hate cops and want to cause trouble, not because cops kill over 1,000 people every year and face almost no accountability for it.
“We’re finding more people challenging us now than they ever had before,” said Vince Champion from the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.
Champion told CBS 46 that he thinks that cops are not supported and that’s what makes this law necessary.
“I understand what we signed up for when we sign to become cops. We understand it’s not a pretty job, we understand that we could get hurt or even killed, we understand we could be in a lawsuit based on just what we do for a jobs but what we don’t understand and don’t except is that the DA and everyone else to come actually looking for us,” added Champion.
Apparently Champion is unfamiliar with the actual stats when it comes to the “DA and everyone else to come actually looking for” them. They almost never do.
Despite horrifying police killings, many of which were captured on video and have rocked the nation, the arrest rate for cops who kill people on-duty remains as low as ever. According to multiple reports, since 2005, just 126 police officers have been arrested for murder or manslaughter in relation to an on-duty killing.
Of those 126, just 44 have been convicted, with 31 of their cases still pending, and just seven cops total have been convicted of murder. The other 37 cops were convicted on charges ranging from manslaughter to official misconduct, with many of them receiving no jail time.
Police kill an average of 1,000 Americans a year and in 15 years, just 44 cops have been convicted. That is less than 3 tenths of 1 percent. If we look at the conviction rate for murder it dwindles down to less than a 1 in a 1,000 chance. Surely, out of 15,000 killings, more than 37 of them should have resulted in a conviction and more than 7 for a murder conviction but that is not the case.
Instead of realizing this problem and moving to correct it through de-escalation training, community outreach, and mental health programs, governments pass laws like “Bias Motivated Intimidation of First Responders Prosecution Act” to silence those angry enough at police brutality to get out in the streets and say something about it. Instead of reaching a compromise and seeking peaceful solutions, cops compete for victimhood to pass laws like this one.
Atlanta City councilmember Antonio Brown agrees, calling this new law “a complete disrespect to these individuals families” who have become martyrs in the face of change.
“I believe the new police protection legislation that governor Kemp signed into law is reactive and a complete slap in the face of all the community organizers, activist, local municipalities that have worked tirelessly, not just during the unrest we’ve seen over the last year but over the last decade, to bridge the divide between police and community,” Brown said.
Aside from the horribly flawed logic behind granting a privileged class status to public servants, the idea of treating assault or harassment of a police officer as a hate crime has frightening implications considering how often people are charged with assault on a police officer.
When someone, guilty or innocent, attempts to pull away from cops trying to arrest them, or protect themselves from a police assault, they are almost always charged with resisting arrest often followed by assault on an officer.
The officer need only state in his report that the subject resisted because he didn’t like cops — now a hate crime has been committed and the person is facing an additional 5-year sentence.
Sadly, the tone deaf cops are apparently seeing the calls for greater police accountability, increasingly spawning across the nation, as attacks on the police in general.
As a defensive mechanism, the ruling class is seeking to establish a clear blue line in the sand that cannot be crossed without it being interpreted as an attack on the very fabric of the status quo. Logic and reason — be damned.