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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 6, 2017 11:23 AM
From: Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Hate Crimes Against Law Enforcement and First Responders
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation (SB1383) to create the new offense of “Hate Crimes Against Law Enforcement and First Responders”. Our state’s current hate crime law does not specifically protect law enforcement officers or first responders. My bill will create a new offense specifically targeted at persons who commit crimes against law enforcement officers or first responders who are motivated by their hatred toward the police.

Unfortunately, we have seen a recent surge in murders and attacks upon our law enforcement officers. The men and women who proudly wear the badge are at greater risk of danger than ever before in recent history. The high profile murders of officers in Dallas, Baton Rouge, New York City and ambush style attacks and assassinations of officers here in our own Commonwealth like the recent killing of Trooper Weaver in Huntington County have demonstrated the need to protect our law enforcement officers and to punish those who specifically target police due to their hatred for law enforcement.

The state of Louisiana recently passed a similar law referred to as “Blue Lives Matter” and comparable legislation has been offered both federally and in other states.

The time is now to stand up for our men and women in law enforcement. Never before have we seen such hatred, vitriol and violence perpetrated against the very people who risk their lives every single day so that we can have the freedom and security that the people of this Commonwealth and this country enjoy. It is our duty and responsibility to do everything in our power to protect the protectors.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important measure. Thank you.

Introduced as SB410