“Blue Lives” do not exist. The police are not an ethnic group nor a marginalized identity. Therefore, they cannot advocate for legal hate crime protection. The police exist to protect property and privilege. We do not hate the individual human being who inhabits the uniform but understand the material reality of oppression that human plays when they put that uniform on. At any point, that person has a choice to walk away. As long as people practice a culture of policing, they will ultimately be on the side of the oppressor.
Since the Dallas unrest, legislatures across the United States have introduced Blue Lives Matter bills that would define attacks on law enforcement as hate crimes. Lobbying to support these laws is a network of pro-cop chapters also rallying under the banner Blue Lives Matter. This is an organization, not just a movement. Typically, these bills would make assault on an on-duty cop, currently a Class C Felony, a Class B Felony. Aggravated assault, defined as assault with intent to cause “serious harm,” would be elevated to the maximum Class A, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The Blue Lives Matter website serves as both an organizational platform and rightwing news center. They released a racist repudiation of the Movement for Black Lives policy platform and have attacked moderate politicians and even police officers who’ve expressed even the slightest favorability of minor police reforms. Information about their organization suggests an ideology firmly rooted in white supremacy and Alt-Right reactionary politics aggressively supporting Donald Trump’s campaign.
In these times of great social upheaval, we cannot let extrajudicial organizations work to support their state-sanctioned counterparts. Abolition of the police also requires the abolition of private groups that share structure and ideology with law enforcement.