Thursday, July 14, 2016

Love And Hate Crimes

O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!
                                                                                      -Walter Scott

We can see where the concept of "hate crimes" (as opposed to "love crimes") is leading us. (Below is a video of the Philadelphia District Attorney completely missing the point his interviewer, a fan of his, is trying to make.)

Currently, punishment received by a defendant in New Jersey can be increased if he/she is found to have committed a crime motivated by race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expresssion, national origin, or ethnicity. According to NJ Advance Media, a bill similar to the one introduced in the State Assembly in January is to be introduced Thursday in the State Senate as

In the wake of the deadly shooting of police officers in Dallas, a New Jersey lawmaker wants to make attacks on police and first responders a hate crime.

Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) said Monday he plans to introduce legislation expanding New Jersey's hate crime statute to include violence against police — attacks he called "especially outrageous."

The proposal comes after a lone gunman shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven others during a protest over fatal police shootings in Texas last week.

Kyrillos, who will never be spotted entering a Mensa meeting, stated "We cannot allow an entire class of public servants to be targeted for violence due to their profession. If such attacks don't qualify as hate crimes, I don't know what does."

We can start with attacks by students, less often by mothers of those students, upon teachers.  Most assaults, especially those between or among acquaintances, would qualify. Even violence resulting from a drug deal gone bad would be motivated in part by hate. And as for domestic violence? Yikes.

NJ Advance Media adds

Patrick Colligan, the president of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association, said police on patrol feel under attack, particularly after the Dallas shooting. He said Micah Xavier Johnson, the shooter who allegedly told police he wanted to killed white police officers, "pointed his rifle with hate."

Robert Lewis Dear exclaimed at a hearing "I am a warrior for the children" after his arrest for evidently murdering three workers at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs in December. He did not shoot to death three strangers out of love. Nor was he charged with a hate crime when he targeted people because of their employment. Colligan, however, applauds Kyrillos' bill because it "sends the message that we're a separate class."

If you think that's a double standard for police officers than for mere mortals, you've been paying attention.   Krystal Marie Campbell, Lu Lingzu, and Martin William Richard belonged to a separate class, also. They were in the class of individuals who got in the way of the bomb planted at the Boston Marathon in April, 2013.  They, too, were victims of "hate," not love, but no one was prosecuted for a "hate crime."

A senior staff attorney of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey notes Kyrillos' bill is "so broad, and gives law enforcement a great deal of power to charge and, indeed, overcharge people who they perceive as their critics."   Overreacting to criticism of police would constitute a great irony as we hear presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump rail against "political correctness." Little did we expect Republican politicians, such as in NJ and Pennsylvania, to be so exquisitely sensitive about the feelings of government employees.

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