Unnecessary and Misguided: The Protect and Serve Act

Categories: Action Alerts, Criminal Justice

Take Action: It’s Police Week, and Congress is moving forward with ill-conceived legislation that could make relations between communities and police worse, not better. Call your representative today (202-224-3121) and tell them to vote NO on the Protect and Serve Act.

The Protect and Serve Act, which could come up on the House floor for a vote as early as tomorrow, inappropriately creates a new – yet duplicative – crime for offenses that “target law enforcement,” furthering division between law enforcement and the communities they serve. At a time when this relationship is especially strained, it is important for Congress to enact legislation that will make things better, not worse.

The Protect and Serve Act is inappropriate and misguided for the following reasons:

  1. Police already have substantial protections under federal and state law, thus the law is redundant.
  2. Hate crimes laws are intended to extend protection to historically persecuted groups that have experienced a history of systemic discrimination based on a personal characteristic – race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Law enforcement officers are not a historically persecuted group.
  3. This bill plays to an unhelpful and dangerous narrative that police are under assault, which is untrue.
  4. This and other similar bills appear to be a political response to a growing movement for police accountability in the face of continued killings and assaults of unarmed African Americans, and will have a negative impact on the relationship between communities and police.

Rather than advancing legislation that reforms policing practices and promotes community policing, Congress may vote soon on the Protect and Serve Act, an unnecessary and misguided attempt to politicize the unfortunate deaths of law enforcement officers. This legislation could ultimately exacerbate existing tension between law enforcement and the communities they serve, especially African Americans.

Make a call to your representative about this unnecessary and misguided bill, and tell them to vote NO.

Take Action: It’s Police Week, and Congress is moving forward with ill-conceived legislation that could make relations between communities and police worse, not better. Call your representative today (202-224-3121) and tell them to vote NO on the Protect and Serve Act.