Dear Representative Buchanan,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 130, the “Thin Blue Line Act,” which would expand the list of aggravating factors in death penalty determinations for those who target, kill, or attempt to kill a law enforcement or other public safety officer.
Law enforcement officers have always faced threats while on duty, but within the past few years, and especially in today’s climate, officers have become a target for violence solely because of the uniform they wear. So far this year, 52 officers have been shot in the line of duty, 6 of whom were killed. There have been 18 ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers, which have resulted in 15 officers being shot, 3 of whom were killed.
Under current law, the murder of a Federal law enforcement officer or prosecutor is an “aggravating” factor in favor of the maximum penalty—usually death. This legislation would provide that the murder of local or State prosecutor, law enforcement officer, or other public safety officers also be considered an “aggravating” factor in a Federal case.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you for your leadership on this important issue. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.