‘Back the Badge’ bill sends a message, but is not racist

Published 10:10 am Thursday, March 23, 2017

So it seems there are some “Liberal Loonies” who are upset with our elected officials passing a bill that increases the penalty for criminals convicted of attacks on first responders and law enforcement and charges those individuals with a hate crime.

We have all seen the regular attacks and ambushes on law enforcement in our country and during the current legislative session, House Bill 645 or the “Back the Badge” bill was sent to Gov. Phil Bryant for his signature. The bill that will become state law passed on an 85-31 vote. It would triple penalties for violent crimes against law enforcement officers and first responders and others, including civilian employees such as public works crews and utility workers.

The Mississippi Senate passed a similar measure, SB 2469 or the “Blue Lives Matter” bill.

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Many on the left are trying to paint the legislation as racist or against the Black Lives Matter movement, including the Mississippi American Civil Liberties Union.

According to a press release from the ACLU hours after the legislation cleared the House, HB 645 is “unnecessary” and does not make police officers safer.

“Passing this bill, in conjunction with the legislature’s failure to pass any meaningful police reform legislation, antagonizes the already volatile state of police-community relations. Whether the bill is labeled ‘Back the Badge’ or ‘Blue Lives Matter,’ the legislature’s intent to counter the message of Black Lives Matter cannot be clearer.

“Mississippi residents, our sheriffs’ deputies and our police officers are all safer when law enforcement officers and their respective communities share a mutual trust and goal of promoting public safety. Passing meaningful police reforms would be a step towards that goal, but HB 645 leads the state further from it.”

I personally believe that any legislation aimed at protecting the lives of those who are paid to protect us is something ALL of us can get behind. This shouldn’t be a divisive matter between conservatives and liberals, but obviously there are those such as the ACLU who are only concerned with their “liberal loony” agenda. To paint all those in law enforcement as racist by insinuating “police reforms” are more important than going after those who are intentionally assaulting law enforcement and first responders is shameful.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.