Democratic lawmakers in Connecticut want to create a new state police department to “specialize in investigating far-right extremist groups and individuals.”
In 2017, the state of Connecticut reported 111 crimes motivated by bias against a particular race, ethnicity, or religion. Most of the crimes targeted blacks and Jews.
The new police department aims to stop these crimes before they happen, explains Senate President Martin Looney.
“Unfortunately, people who entertain hateful beliefs…are protected as long as [those beliefs] don’t result in hate-crime actions. That’s what we’re talking about,” says Looney. “We want to be more aggressive in enforcing our laws and identifying likely sources of potential domestic terrorism acts against religious institutions and ethnic institutions.”
As noted by Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, a Republican, the proposal is inappropriate in that it fails to mention left-wing extremism. Extremism exists on both sides and is wrong on both sides, and Democrats must acknowledge this fact in order to effectively combat hate crime.
“When they put a right-wing label on extremism, they do that to elicit a political response,” argues Fasano, adding that Republicans are “on the same page” when it comes to protecting the state’s residents from hate crimes.
Author’s Note: The nature of this proposal reminds me of the Thought Police from George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, a specialized force that goes after people whose thoughts conflict with the views of the government.
Editor’s Note: When the political leadership of a state found an institution whose sole purpose is to investigate people whose views are of the opposing political party, it has, in effect, established a “thought police.” The intention might be purely political, to propagandize the flaws of the right, but the end effects are beyond measure.
Any police methods that discriminate by political thought are, by definition, in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments. And most certainly the Second and Fifth Amendments are sure to be next.