September 23, 2020

Chairman Graham Introduces PROTECT Law Enforcement Officers Act of 2020

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today introduced the Penalizing Radicals and Others who Thwart Emergency Care and Transportation (PROTECT) for Law Enforcement Officers Act of 2020 that would make it a federal crime to knowingly prevent an injured law enforcement officer from receiving emergency medical care.

“I am proud to stand with the men and women in blue. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I have made police reform a priority, but I will never turn my back on those who protect us.

“I’ve never seen a more dangerous time to be a police officer than now. More law enforcement officers have already died in the line of duty this year than died in all of 2019. It seems like it is open season on the cops.

“My legislation will help protect law enforcement officers by going after those who would want to do them harm. It’s the least we can do to protect those who protect us.”

The PROTECT Law Enforcement Officers Act of 2020 would create a new federal crime to penalize anyone who knowingly prevents a law enforcement officer from accessing emergency medical services for an injury suffered in the line of duty or from a criminal act.

Current events evidencing attacks on law enforcement officers and the need to protect them:

  • Earlier this year in South Carolina, a Sumter County Sheriff’s Deputy, Corporal Andrew Gillette, was shot at point blank range and killed in the line of duty, despite wearing a bulletproof vest.
  • Video from last weekend shows an outright assassin walking up to two L.A. Sheriff’s deputies, and opening fire at point blank range.  When the officers were rushed to the hospital, protesters blocked the emergency entrances and exits, shouting, “We hope they die!!”  Those two Sheriff’s deputies – one, a 31-year old mother of one who was shot in the jaw, the other, 24-year-old male who has been released but will be going to a long-term care facility – are recovering. 
  • A police station in Seattle was burned to the ground earlier this summer.
  • Hundreds of officers in New York have been injured while policing protests that have turned violent, dozens of police vehicles have been torched, and an officer was struck by a vehicle in a deliberate hit-and-run captured on video.
  • Eleven officers and 50 Secret Service agents were injured – some, by rioters throwing Molotov cocktails – during demonstrations in Washington, D.C. that turned violent.
  • In July, 49 officers were injured after an ambush at the Columbus statute in Grant Park.
  • Fifty-one Chicago police officers have been shot this year alone, quadrupling any previous year in Chicago's history.
  • Nine officers have been shot in St. Louis since June.