Dear Representative Carson,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to ask for your help in the wake of the horrific ambush attack on two officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police by cosponsoring H.R. 3079, the “Protect and Serve Act.”
While the investigation is currently ongoing, media reports about the incident state that the assailant called 9-1-1 with the intention of attacking the responding officers at the first opportunity. Two officers responded and took his false complaint. When the officers acted to investigate the complaint, they were viciously stabbed by the 9-1-1 caller. One officer was stabbed in the neck and the other in the chest. Fortunately, both officers will survive. The perpetrator was apprehended, and his motive was very clear—he wanted to kill the responding officers that he lured within the range of his knife.
In response to the surge of calculated and ambush-style attacks like we saw in Indianapolis, a bipartisan group of former law enforcement officers introduced H.R. 3079, the “Protect and Serve Act.” This legislation would impose Federal penalties on individuals who deliberately target law enforcement officers with violence in very specific situations. In 2018, the Committee on the Judiciary voted unanimously to report this legislation favorably and soon after it was passed by the full House on an overwhelming 382-35 vote. You voted for the measure, and we are asking you to support this same legislation by cosponsoring H.R. 3079.
So far this year, 314 officers have been shot in the line of duty, 58 of whom were killed. The lethality of these attacks would be much greater but for the dramatic improvements in medical trauma science and anti-ballistic technology. This year, 119 officers have been shot in 95 separate ambush-style attacks, which has resulted in the deaths of 28 officers. The 126% increase of ambush-style attacks from this time in 2020 is another stark reminder that our law enforcement officers are not just in harm’s way due to the dangerous nature of their profession, but that they are the targets of cowardly individuals whose sole motivation is to injure or kill a law enforcement officer. Bear in mind that this data only reflects targeted attacks by assailants using firearms only and not other weapons like knives, as was the case in Indianapolis.
Ambush-style attacks and gun violence targeting law enforcement officers have been steadily increasing in recent years. A 2016 report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded: “While the overall number of officers who were feloniously killed was declining, the percentage of officers feloniously killed during surprise attacks was increasing.”
In light of these chilling facts, and the brutal ambush of two officers in your district, we are asking you to cosponsor H.R. 3079 to address the national problem of ambushes and unprovoked attacks on our nation’s law enforcement officers. No officer should be at risk of being targeted while simply sitting in their patrol car, heading home at the end of a shift, or responding to a 9-1-1 call. When a member of the public calls for help, we answer that call. We are asking for your help now and urge you to cosponsor this bill so that we can send it to the House floor for a vote.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you for considering the FOP’s urgent request to cosponsor H.R. 3079. If I can provide any additional information about this bill, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.