Rep. Attica Scott, a Democrat from Louisville, said she was worried that the legislation would disproportionately affect minorities and protesters.

I’m concerned that HB 14 will give this kind of fearmongering a license to charge me with a hate crime for doing what my ancestors did during the Civil Rights Movement — standing up for the diversity of our state and the most vulnerable of our communities.

She filed an amendment to the bill, which was rejected by a vote of 20 to 60.

On February 13th, The Kentucky House of Representatives voted 77/13 in favor of HB14.

Representatives from Jefferson County provided the only no votes, including Rep. Cantrell who had voted in favor of the bill in the Judiciary Committee but voted against it in the House session. Our proudest moments in this fight were from the democratic reps from Louisville, who were willing not just to call this bill divisive, but declare why.

Rep. Jim Wayne made these compelling statements regarding what the Blue Lives Matter bill is about and how it was never intended to protect anyone!

We have laws already on the books to protect first responders. I was not approached by one single first responder on this legislation. We have to think what it's like to suffer from systemic racism. I urge my fellow white male House representatives to learn about our oppressed brothers and sisters and why Black Lives Matter. This Blue Lives Matter bill sets up a false choice between first responders and the black community.




#No2HB14 Blue Lives Matter Bill The Kentucky legislature introduced  House Bill 14, the so-called “Blue Lives Matter” Bill, on the first day of the 2017 legislative session. The bill  may be voted on as soon as the second week in February. From its name to the legislative details, the 'Blue Lives Matter' bill is intended to antagonize and discredit efforts for racial justice and police accountability by dividing Kentuckians with a false choice between protecting Black lives or those of police officers. We believe this legislation is unnecessary, redundant, and undermines current hate crime legislation that is used to protect historically oppressed communities and individuals. This bill will create a new protected class of citizens based on occupation. Extending hate crime protections to specific professions will undermine those persons and groups given current protection under the Civil Rights Act. Classifying police officers as an intimidated group reverses the order of reality experienced by most citizens in their encounters with law enforcement and other factions of discrimination. According to preliminary statistics released by the FBI in May, 41 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2015, a decrease of almost 20 percent from 2014, when 51 officers were killed in 2014. By contrast, Every 7 hours, a citizen is killed by police. Of these murders, only 1% of these officers are indicted and sent to trial. By contrast, 90% of all civilian cases involving a death go to trial. 'Blue Lives Matter' is nothing more than a rallying cry from those that want to silence Black voices in defense of police brutality. The so-called “Blue Lives Matter” movement arose after the targeted killings of police officers in New York (2014), Dallas (2016), and Baton Rouge (2016). These attacks were heinous, but they were not hate crimes in the classic sense of plausible efforts to intimidate entire communities out of exercising basic constitutional rights such as the freedom of speech, religion, assembly, or voting. While policing, particularly under divisive “us” vs. “them” regimes that fails to adequately train and supervise law enforcement officers, is dangerous work, to pretend that attacks on police are equivalent to lynching or gay bashing is an exercise in moral amnesia. Worse still, HB 14 opens counterproductive avenues for turning trivial offenses into felonies at the discretion of police and prosecutors. Indeed, this is already happening in Louisiana--the one state where a similar law has been passed--where St. Martinville Police Chief, Calder Hebert is asserting that “resisting arrest” can be charged as a felony hate crime. So instead of prosecuting klansmen and neo-nazies for attacks on whole communities, this law may turn hate crimes law to the prosecution of “suspects” who throw up their hands to cover their eyes when maced in the face--a common instance of charging “resisting arrest.” Raising the stakes for “resisting arrest”could have a chilling effect on public protest. The potential for political abuse, charging people exercising first amendment rights, engaging in constitutionally protected protest with spurious “intimidation” charges is high, particularly when the protestors are from the Black, Latinx, Indigenous, immigrant, refugee or LGBTQ communities. Given all of the problems indicated above, we urge you to sign this petition and pass it along to Kentucky lawmakers. Opposition to this law should be a clear line for every Kentuckian who cares about racial justice, civil and human rights, and respect for the Constitution. We urge you to contact your state representatives and make it clear that silence on this issue is not acceptable.