Washington, D.C. – In the wake of this weekend’s attack on police officers in Los Angeles, California and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today urged his Senate colleagues to pass his Thin Blue Line Act – legislation that would ensure criminals face the strongest possible repercussions in federal cases when they kill state or local law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked passage of this legislation, which previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support.

In a speech on the Senate floor this afternoon, Senator Toomey said:

“We hope they die. We hope they die. We hope they die. These are the vile words that anti-police protesters yelled on Saturday night outside St. Francis Medical Center in Los Angeles County, California. They were yelling that about two deputy sheriffs who, at the time, were clinging to life inside the hospital. They were clinging to life, just barely, because earlier that night those two deputy sheriffs were brutally ambushed by a gunman who shot them multiple times as they sat in their patrol car simply doing their jobs patrolling the local train station.”

 

“In Lancaster, after that knife-wielding man was shot by an officer who was just protecting his own life, which was obviously under serious risk, protesters came out and started rioting, throwing bricks, rocks, and bottles at police, smashing windows at a police station and a post office, setting a dumpster on fire, despite the fact that the video clearly shows that the officer was being attacked. He was simply defending his life. I have no idea why anyone would protest a police officer defending his own life.” 

 

“That’s why I’m here today, calling on the Senate to pass my Thin Blue Line Act today. My bill sends a very simple and clear message: anyone who murders a law enforcement official should be prepared to pay the ultimate price.”

 

Background

Anyone who murders or targets a public safety officer should be prepared to pay the ultimate price.

When a jury in a federal case considers whether to impose the death penalty, the jury must consider certain "aggravating" factors. Current law states that if the murder victim is a federal law enforcement officer or federal prosecutor, this fact shall weigh as an aggravating factor in favor of the death penalty. The Thin Blue Line Act provides the same level of justice to local law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and first responders. It also enhances the penalty when a defendant targets a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, or first responder solely because that individual has chosen to protect and serve.

The Thin Blue Line Act is endorsed by:

  • AFGE Council of Prison Locals, AFL-CIO
  • Corrections USA
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO
  • Major County Sheriffs of America
  • National Association of Police Organizations
  • National District Attorneys Association
  • National Sheriffs' Association
  • National Troopers Coalition
  • National Volunteer Fire Council
  • Pennsylvania State Troopers Association
  • Sgts. Benevolent Association of NYC