police-batonsThe law, 18 U.S. Code § 249, considers offenses “involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin” as hate crimes. “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,” Jim Pasco, the executive director of the organization, wrote in a letter to Obama and Congressional leaders this week. The Obama administration responded by saying the initiative is “something that we’ll have to consider.”  Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said a task force convened on 21st Century policing will consider the call to make violence against police a hate crime. Police want the designation despite the fact killings of police officers have fallen since the 1970s along with the rate of violent crime in general. “Even with a slight increase in the number of on-duty fatalities last year, law enforcement remains a much safer occupation than many worthier jobs in the productive sector,” writes William Norman Griggs. “The violent death of a police officer is somewhat similar to a plane crash: It is an infrequent occurrence that attracts intensive media coverage, thereby distorting public perceptions of risk. Plane crashes are rare; highway fatalities happen every day. A similar comparison could be made between the murder of police officers and police killings of citizens.” More