Florida Explores Blue Lives Matter Bill To Protect Police

A Florida Blue Lives Matter bill is under consideration.

A Florida Blue Lives Matter bill is under consideration.

Florida Considers Blue Lives Matter Bill

Tallahassee, FL – Florida is joining a growing list of states that have enacted, or are trying to enact, some version of a Blue Lives Matter bill into legislation. Lawmakers on both sides of the partisan fence are trying to breathe new life into proposed legislation that would expand the state’s hate crime definition.

Most states have some type of hate crime designation when a person or entity is victimized simply because of specific character traits. Race, sexual orientation, and ethnicity are the most common determining factors. Florida, as with most states, has not created a new class of crimes to address those motivated by hate. Rather, the penalties for crimes already in law are enhanced if the motivation falls under one of the classes of a hate crime.

Currently there are two legislators in Tallahassee trying to introduce legislation that would expand the hate crime definition to encompass law enforcement personnel and other first responders. Republican Representative Elizabeth Porter and Republican Senator Dennis Baxley are both proposing similar regulations.

Louisiana already has a “Blue Lives Matter” bill that addresses crimes against law enforcement as a hate crime.

Senator Baxley said that he would like to be ahead of the curve, even though there haven’t been a lot of incidents in the state. He said that police are the subject of these attacks because they represent authority and they should not be targeted simply because of who they serve in the public.

Senate President Negron dissented with the opinion though. He says all crimes should be treated the same. He thinks it should be prohibited equally across the board regardless of someone’s profession. Despite his reluctance to support the Blue Lives Matter bill, he has made no comments about trying to repeal the existing hate crime definitions. One has to wonder if he just doesn’t want to support the police or if he wants to be dismissive of all hate crime definitions in the state.

The Police Benevolent Association is also supporting this legislation and has made it a priority.

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