STATEMENT OF FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE NATIONAL PRESIDENT CHUCK CANTERBURY ON RECENT VIOLENCE AGAINST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
In a single 24 hour period, four law enforcement officers in four different cities were shot and one brave officer, Detective Benjamin Marconi of the San Antonio Police Department, was killed. At least two and perhaps three of these shootings were ambushes–these officers were attacked because of their uniform.
Violence targeting law enforcement officers is on the rise, ambush attacks are at a ten year high and police deaths by gunfire are the highest since 2011. This cannot continue. Enough is enough!
The FOP will be making an immediate push to introduce legislation expanding protections for law enforcement officers under the Federal hate crime statute. We will push for an increase in the appropriations for the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) grant program and other Federal programs that provide support and life-saving equipment for State and local law enforcement officers. Law enforcement agencies should adopt all available officer safety measures, including eliminating single man patrols if possible. We need to do more to protect each other.
On behalf of all members and all the men and women who wear a badge and serve their communities so selflessly, I am asking for the help of all my fellow Americans. We need your help. We are targets out there–whether we’re making a traffic stop, arresting a domestic violence suspect or directing traffic at a school. These officers are your family, your friends and your neighbors. You know who they are with or without their uniform on because you see them at the grocery store, at church and at the high school football game. But when they have that uniform on, they become a target for hateful individuals who believe that killing a cop is a social good.
It starts with hateful speech, vile rhetoric that too often gets amplified on social media where terrible threats can be made in anonymity. The purveyors of hate push out a product that is eagerly consumed by persons who internalize it and then act. Hateful speech can and does trigger violence and its most recent target is police officers.
We need YOUR help. Show your local law enforcement officers that you support them by joining us in calling for amending Federal hate crimes law to protect your protectors!