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Florida Lawmaker Files “Blue Lives Matter” Bill

Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee

Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Source: WikiMedia Commons

Florida lawmakers in both chambers are looking to revive legislation that would expand the state’s definition of a hate crime to include law enforcement personnel and first responders.

Lake City Republican Representative Elizabeth Porter has filed a bill in the state House, and Republican Senator Dennis Baxley is considering similar legislation.

Baxley says his bill would be modeled after Louisiana’s so-called “Blue Lives Matter” law.

“I’m very thankful that we haven’t had a lot of incidents here in Florida, but I like to be ahead of the curve,” said Baxley. “And we do see these outright attacks of hatred for police officers, simply because they represent that authority. I just don’t think you should be a target of attacks, simply because of who you are in serving the public.”

Senate President Joe Negron may have some reservations, however.

“My view is that we ought to treat all crimes of violence against any person, regardless of their profession, regardless of their background, should all be treated as unacceptable and not something that we allow, and should be something that’s prohibited equally across the board,” said Negron.

The legislation is also a priority for the Florida Police Benevolent Association.

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