Everyday members of law enforcement, fire fighters, and EMS personnel put their lives on the line to protect the lives of people like you and me. There is now legislation being proposed in the Louisiana Legislature that would make attacks on persons working in these kinds of jobs to be classified as hate crimes.

There is a group that does not support this kind of legislation. The group that has spoken in opposition of protecting these public servants is the New Orleans Chapter of the Black Youth Project 100. A representative of that organization, Ejike Obineme, told the Louisiana Radio Network why his group is against this legislation.

It tries to reposition who are the victims and who has power and who does not.

In his comments, Obineme suggested that because law enforcement personnel are already armed and they often encounter unarmed victims, perhaps it's the officers who are more likely to commit hate crimes.

This idea that the police are under attack, well all the statistics show that actually the opposite is true, and nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, police are actually even more protected. There’s been less violence against the police.

Representative Lance Harris of Alexandria disagrees with Mr. Obinene's position on the subject. He described a situation that happened in Houston, Texas where an officer was gunned down while he was pumping gas.

There was a man there that shot Officer Goforth 15 times in the head and back, and he did it merely because he was in uniform and because he was a police officer.

The bill will proceed to the Senate floor for more debate and discussion.