WASHINGTON, D.C.—As we continue to honor National Law Enforcement Week, the House passed H.R. 5698, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.), which would create federal penalties for individuals who deliberately target local, state, or federal law enforcement officers with violence. Earlier today, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) spoke on the House Floor to urge his colleagues to support the bill, and honored all law enforcement for the work they do every day to keep Americans safe.
“I thank the gentleman from Virginia for yielding and I thank my colleague from Florida for bringing forward this important bill, the Protect and Serve Act. Especially this week, as we celebrate Law Enforcement Week, nationally, a time to really thank those men and women who serve and put their uniform on every day to protect us, to protect our communities, to keep our country and our communities safe.
“I know all too well just that value and importance of having law enforcement and why they serve such an important role. Nearly a year ago, when we had the shooting in Virginia, where a gunman targeted members of Congress, it was those very law enforcement, in this case, our United States Capitol Police, the heroes who went towards the danger and confronted and took down the shooter, along with Virginia police who joined in as well. While they were risking their lives for us, they took on gun fire. They were shot themselves, in the case of the United States Capitol Police, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, who were just recently awarded just incredible honors, from the President to national law enforcement organizations, for their heroic bravery. They went towards the fire, but they were shot and continued to take down and confront the shooter.
“Why this bill is so important is because it hardens penalties against criminal who would target law enforcement officers. They deserve this protection. We have seen too often, the last year, the last two years, where police officers were targeted by people because they wore the badge. Because they are part of that thin blue line. We need to stand with them. We need to make it crystal clear that we are going to be standing with them and we’re going to have their back because more often than not, they are the ones who have our back. That is why this bill is so important. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support and urge all of my colleagues to support this important legislation.”