Like Louisiana, attacking the police could become a ‘hate crime’ in Chicago. At the federal level, similar legislation has been introduced.

These laws were originally passed to deter violence against groups with immutable characteristics (i.e. race, ethnicity, sex, etc). In other words, these laws were designed to protect those with imposed identities.

Being a police officer is an occupation – and is ultimately a choice. Police officers can always quit their jobs, but black people cannot give two-weeks-notice on their blackness. The proposed law draws a false equivalency between a racial group that is open to violence and an occupational group that imposes state violence. Attempting a comparison here is a ruse that minimizes black suffering. 

Alderman Burke said this ordinance would extend “every possible protection” to the police. Do the police really need more protection? Don’t they already have the protection of all-out military gear? Don’t they already have the protection of an entire legal apparatus that allows them to murder with impunity? Don’t they already have the protection of corporate media and a court of public opinion that continue to justify their terrorism?