This State Is Making Sure That Blue Lives Matter

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is expected to sign a bill that will expand state hate crime statutes to include any attack on a police officer, EMT or firefighter.

HB 953 has passed in both chambers of the state legislature, and if it’s signed, Louisiana would be first state in the country with such a law.

State Rep. Lance Harris (R) said he was inspired to pen the bill following the murder of Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth in Houston last August.

“It looked like it was strictly done because someone didn’t like police officers, like a hate crime,” Harris told CNN on Friday.

HB 953 is commonly known as “Blue Lives Matter,” a phrase co-opted from the Black Lives Matter movement and that stands as a counterpoint to criticisms of police brutality. The Blue Lives Matter movement maintains that in fact, police officers are under attack and need extra protections. 

“I certainly do think there is a need for it,” Harris said. “If you’re going to have an extensive hate crime statute then we need to protect those that are out there protecting us on a daily basis.”

“There is a concerted effort in some areas to terrorize and attack police and I think this will go forward and stop that,” Harris added, citing social media attacks on police officers. 

Stringer . / Reuters
Policemen arrive at the funeral for Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth in Houston on Sept.4, 2015.

But rates of assault and deadly violence against police in the U.S. have actually declined. Only 41 police officers were intentionally killed while on duty in 2015 — nearly a 20 percent decrease from 2014 — making it one of the safest years for police officers on record, according to preliminary statistics from the FBI.

Critics of the bill say hate crime legislation should stick to race, religion, ethnicity and other static attributes.

“It’s really focused on immutable characteristics,” Allison Goodman, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, told The Advocate of the current state statute. “Proving the bias intent for a hate crime for law enforcement or first responders is very different than proving it for someone who is Jewish or gay or black.”

Others have asserted that it is actually citizens and not police who are under siege. Officers are heavily protected by the justice system: They typically do not face legal repercussions for using lethal force against civilians, and when someone kills an officer, they are usually swiftly prosecuted to the full extent of the law. In some states, such as Michigan and New York, killing a police officer is an automatic first-degree murder charge. 

The New Orleans chapter of Black Youth Project 100, a black activist organization, is asking that Edwards veto the bill.

“By treating the police as specialized citizens held above criticism and the laws they are charged to enforce, we lose our ability to exercise our First Amendment right,” the organization wrote in a statement. “Including ‘police’ as a protected class in hate crime legislation would serve to provide more protection to an institution that is statistically proven to be racist in action, policy, and impact.”

Edwards is expected to sign the bill this week, his press secretary Shauna Sanford told The Huffington Post.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to the “Blue Lives Matter” legislation as HB 923. It is HB 953.

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Contently Launches Customer Advisory Board to Foster Content Marketing Community Collaboration and Fuel … – MarTech Series

Contently Launches Customer Advisory Board to Foster Content Marketing Community Collaboration and Fuel …
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Contently, the content marketing solution of choice for the world's most valuable brands, announced the launch of its Customer Advisory Board (CAB). The Contently CAB is an outstanding community that recognizes the best of Contently's strategic

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Puma and America's Test Kitchen on 2019's Content Marketing Trends to Watch – The Content Standard by Skyword


The Content Standard by Skyword

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With the launch of Instagram TV, the rise of shoppable content, and countless Google algorithm updates, 2018 was a big year for content marketers. To say that the digital world is constantly changing would be an understatement. In order to keep up, we …

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Twitter is testing a redesign of how you compose new tweets

Image: brittany herbert/Mashable

Twitter is experimenting with a new look for the tweet composer in its iOS app.

The test, which users first began to notice Wednesday, moves the app’s tweet composer to the top of users’ timelines. Previously, the app’s tweet composer was a separate part of the app.

The new look causes the app to behave more like Twitter’s website, which also has both a compose window and button. The redesign puts the tweet composer at the top of your timeline, along with the camera icon for adding a photo, video or live stream.

Other media, like polls, GIFs and location info, are still available when you tap into the composer itself.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the experiment, saying it was meant to make it easier for iOS users to tweet while browsing the app.

We want to make it easy for anyone to Tweet. To that end, were experimenting with ways to make the Tweet compose bar easier to access on Twitter for iOS, similar to the experience on Twitter.com.

It’s not clear if Twitter plans to expand the test to its Android app or whether it could become a permanent feature. Twitter, like other social networks, often tests new features and design changes with small groups of users before making them available more broadly.

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Congressman tells BBC that Charlotte protesters ‘hate white people’

Protesters take to the streets uptown during a peaceful march.
Image: AP

A Republican North Carolina congressman has claimed that protesters in Charlotte “hate white people because white people are successful and they are not.”

Robert Pittenger, who has represented parts of Charlotte since 2013, made his comments after two days of protests in the city in the aftermath of the death of Keith Lamont Scott.

The grievance in their mind, the animus, the anger they hate white people because white people are successful and theyre not, he said.

“It is a welfare state. We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare, but weve put people in bondage, so that they cant be all that theyre capable of being.

“America is a country of opportunity and freedom and liberty. It didnt become that way because of a great government who provided everything for everyone,” he continued. “No, the destiny of America, the freedom to come to this country where theyre still coming to our shores is because they can take their work ethic, their hard effort, and put up their capital and their risk, and build out their lives.

Pittenger’s comments immediately caused anger on social media.

The North Carolina Democratic Party issued a statement accusing him of “fanning the flames of hate” with racist rhetoric.

This sort of bigotry has become all too common under the party of Donald J. Trump. Our great state should not be represented by someone who would make such hateful comments,” it said.

Pittenger later apologised on Twitter, saying his answer to a BBC Newsnight interviewer “doesn’t reflect who I am”.

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