(Photo: Flickr / Jamelle Bouie)

Earlier this month, an overwhelming majority of the House passed the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, which could lead to harsher penalties for people who commit violence against police than for those who hurt civilians. A Senate version of the bill would go even further, making law enforcement officers a “protected class” and categorizing violence against them as a “hate crime.”

Supporters have called it the “Blue Lives Matter” bill, in reference to the pro-police slogan often hurled back at Black Lives Matter activists protesting police violence. Critics call it a solution in search of a problem—and a rhetorical attack against the Black Lives Matter movement.

Unfortunately—and ironically—majorities in the congressional black and progressive caucuses joined Republicans in backing the House bill and perpetuating the damaging myth that cops are under attack.

In 2017, firearm-related killings of police officers actually declined from 2016. In fact, 2017 marked one of the safest years in decades for on-duty police officers. If we judge a job’s danger by fatalities, then loggers, fishing workers, pilots, roofers, trash collectors, iron and steel workers, truck drivers, farmers, construction site supervisors, and ground maintenance workers all have more dangerous jobs than cops.

Read more at Fortune.

Karen Dolan directs the Criminalization of Poverty Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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