After a 33-5 vote in the Kentucky Senate, the “Blue Lives Matter” bill House Bill 14 heads to the Governor’s desk.
The legislation adds first responders as a protected class under Kentucky’s hate crime statutes.
We joined our allies in opposing this bill because it was devised as a counter to the Black Lives Matter movement, and there’s no evidence that it is necessary or will make first responders safer in the commonwealth. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund spoke out against the measure during the session (read their letter here).
We all condemn violence against anyone, including first responders. If we want to support both communities and first responders, we should train officers on how to avoid unnecessarily dangerous encounters, de-escalate potentially violent situations, recognize the stress police officers and their families confront, and provide mental health resources for those who need assistance. This bill doesn’t address any of these worthy goals.
Call Governor Bevin and ask him to veto this misguided measure. You can reach the Governor’s Constituent Services line by calling 502-564-2611. You can also mail him a letter to Governor’s Office, State Capitol, 700 Capital Ave., Frankfort, KY 40601.
Join us in thanking Senators Clark, Harper-Angel, McGarvey, Neal, and Thomas for voting no on this wrongheaded measure. Leave them a message on the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181.