Police officers and other law enforcement officials often top Americans’ “most admired jobs” list unless in times of national tragedy.
For example, Americans loved the 9/11 first responders, specifically because the event reminded us that cops do things regular folks would never do. That was the NYPD, but last April the same police force created a Twitter campaign that helped land them on the biggest PR losers of 2014 list.
Following the horrific murders of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on Dec. 20, the Fraternal Order of Police now believes that the act of killing a cop because he or she is a cop should be designated as “a hate crime.”
The police are a targeted and admired group — but do they need PR to ensure their status as a protected group?
According to the FBI, which defined the term:
A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
Interestingly, the section goes on to say “Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.”
This is America and you can hate if you so choose, but the aforementioned Fraternal Order of Police believes that, since police officers are targeted individuals, taking action against a cop should be reclassified as “hate.”
“Right now, it’s a hate crime if you attack someone solely because of the color of their skin, but it ought to be a hate crime if you attack someone solely because of the color of their uniform as well.”
Now what if a major firm took to educating the masses on how our police officers need a little protection of their own? According to Yahoo News’ Liz Goodwin, Congress may be ready for just such a push:
In the past, Democrats such as Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and Republicans such as Peter King of New York have sponsored union-backed bills.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the initiative is “something that we’ll have to consider.” Earnest said the task force on policing convened by President Barack Obama would consider the hate crimes idea.
Nothing forces the hand of an administration like public opinion. Any PR agencies out there willing to protect and serve the police?