Presidential Candidate Questionnaire

10. “Racial profiling,” once a political buzzword and a favorite topic of the media, disappeared from the headlines following the attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001. The FOP has condemned the practice and asserted that it is not the policy of any U.S. law enforcement agency to base enforcement decisions solely on race. However, legislation like H.R. 3618/S. 1670, the “End Racial Profiling Act,” continues to be introduced in Congress. How do you define “racial profiling”? Do you believe that Federal legislation is necessary to address this issue and if so, what would the legislation do and how would affect law enforcement activity at the State and local level?

Obama: I will continue to fight to build a more fair and equitable criminal justice system. I have directed my staff to evaluate the referenced legislation. The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing its guidance regarding the use of race by federal law enforcement agencies. Their conclusions will help guide any future action by my administration in this area.

Romney: Like the Fraternal Order of Police, I oppose racial profiling as a policy or decision-making tool in law enforcement matters. I believe that law enforcement decisions should be made based upon the individual facts and circumstances of the matter under investigation. In such circumstances, race or ethnicity may become relevant where credible information has come to light regarding a possible perpetrator, victim, organization, or scheme. Generic racial profiling that is disconnected from the facts and circumstances of an investigation, however, has no place in our criminal justice system. I believe that states, localities, the federal government, and organizations like the Fraternal Order of Police have largely expressed the same view and have taken steps to prevent racial profiling. I believe there is no need for federal legislation on this score.

11. Would your Administration impose race-collection criteria on Federal law enforcement officers during enforcement actions?

Obama: I believe that collecting appropriate data and developing procedures for responding to complaints is an important step to understand and address any issue of racial profiling.

Romney: It is my understanding that routine demographic information and data are already collected and retained with regard to federal law enforcement actions. Beyond such information, I see no reason why further non-case related information would need to be gathered.

12. In 2009, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law without any support from the law enforcement community. Did you support this legislation? Why is such a law necessary and how do you believe such crimes should be defined? Would you consider making the murder of a law enforcement officer a crime of hate?

Obama: I signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which allowed us to strengthen protections against crimes based on the color of your skin, the faith in your heart, the place of your birth, and added federal protections against crimes based on gender, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Prosecutors now have new tools to work with states and, in their discretion, to prosecute to the fullest those who would perpetrate such crimes.

From the time that the Shepard-Byrd Act became law, the Justice Department has been working to promote safer and more tolerant communities by implementing and enforcing the new law. The Justice Department’s implementation efforts have included holding training conferences to bring together federal, state, and local law enforcement with community to build collaboration for its enforcement. I hope to work with you to continue this important work.

My Administration is committed to stopping senseless tragedies and keeping our police safe. Federal law already provides for harsher penalties when federal crimes of violence are committed against law enforcement officers. We will continue to keep cops on the street and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to reduce injuries and deaths in the line of duty, including through the new Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) initiative.

Romney: There is no place in civil society for assaults on individuals based upon the color of their skin, their religion, place of origin, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. My administration will vigorously investigate and prosecute criminals who violate federal law by targeting victims in such a manner.

Regarding the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, I did not take a position on this particular piece of legislation. I note that prior to enactment of the Act, federal law already provided robust sentencing enhancements for federal crimes targeted at an individuals based upon that person’s race, ethnicity, religion, disability, national origin or sexual orientation, and I support such laws providing such added penalties. Additionally, federal criminal statutes also already existed to punish major civil rights violations and race-based assaults upon churches and voting rights. Accordingly, there was a significant debate surrounding the 2009 Act as to the need for many of its provisions.

As for assaults targeting law enforcement officers and their families, my administration would have a zero tolerance policy. Current federal law provides penalties, up to and including the death penalty, for crimes targeting federal law enforcement officers and their families. The federal sentencing guidelines provide further enhancements for crimes targeting official victims, including law enforcement officers, in the course of federal crimes. As president, I would ensure vigorous enforcement of these provisions and the creation of new penalties, as needed, to punish and deter crimes against officers. Additionally, much as I did as Governor of Massachusetts, I would support death penalty reforms at both the state and federal level, as appropriate, to ensure the availability of capital punishment where an officer has been murdered.

12 thoughts on “Presidential Candidate Questionnaire

Dear Brothers and Siters. We serve the risen Lord. Every decision we make in Law Enforcement is guided or should be guided by the power of the Holy Spirit. When you decide who to vote for, don’t consider wordly things, but consider what is in the bible. Which one of these candidates line up with your Christian views. Who is for for the unborn? I know most Police Officers would prosecute anyone who injures a fetus or kills a little baby. Who supports the rights of a man and woman to marry and concieve children in a natural God given way? What happens to many of the children of blended families, fatherless homes, domestic disputes? As our brother David pointed out, Mr. Obama said the Police Officers “acted stupidly” when they confronted an unidentified tresspasser until proven otherwise. Mr. Obama condemed the latino in Florida who shot a young black male before an investigation was complete. Where is the support for the police officers killed in the line of duty by the thugs and criminals in America? Do any of you know of Mr. Obama coming to the aid of a stricken Law Enforcement family like he did for the above cases I cited along with that college female who needs $3,000 / mth for healthcare so she can have uninterrupted sex while in college?? How about refusing to fight for the christian values? What about not agreeing to meet with the Israel President but appearing on the View and Late SHow? The battle in America is the same on your beat!! It is a battle between “GOOD” and evil. You have the wisdom and power to make a difference! Pray and discern the spirit. God Bless You All!

PrezBO is most assuredly a marxist and socialist. Government dependency for total life sustainability is not the answer, nor any substitute to individual accountability and responsibility. The National FOP lodge needs to be more transparent and informed about labor unions issues by state, rather than lumping altogether issues that don’t necessarily apply in all cases. At least Romney has a proven track record or creating jobs and troubleshooting issues that resulted in success rather than failure. What has the “community organizer” ever done in that regard? Four more years of Obama will further plunder this country into complete financial ruin and ultimately destroy whatever protections we currently have!

I agree with Gary’s assement. I graded the answers as 7 for Obama and 24 for Romney. As Gary stated Obama had some wins early on but failed miserably overall.

I do not understand how one can not take him as a socialist/Marxist whichever term you use but the 2008 election proved millions didn’t see it even though his book and his “we will fundamentally change America” he clearly said so.

Let’s just hope he fails in his bid to get a 2nd term that we can not afford.

As a military veteran and retired Police officer I’ve spent most of my life to serve & protect this country and its people. Your labeling of our President as a Marxist only exhibits your lack of knowledge concerning political views throughout the world. Our Presidend is as Democratic as any other in his views of fairness for the people. Obama 2012.

David is wise to doubt that Obama either likes LE or the FOP, just as he has nothing but contempt for the military. He will say or do anything for votes. I have never seen anyone who can lie so constantly. Don’t be fooled by him, Lorin. And yes – as Joe implies, he is a Marxist.

First, I do respect everyone’s individual opinion. I just wish I could understand how anyone can still believe Obama is in any way good for this great country of ours, much less the law enforcement! Think back at how he has been the first to jump out and publicly question law enforcements actions – such as the arrest of his law professor friend. It is obvious to me that he does not care for or respect law enforcement.
Let’s face it – all of Obama’s records are “sealed” and therefore, we know nothing about him other than the fact that he has more than doubled the nations debt in just three years and that he has done nothing that he said he would do. I am truly worried that if he is re-elected for another term our great country will suffer irreparible damage. He is a great speaker, but look what he has done and/or not done – not what he says! He is one of the best liars I have seen.

I just don’t believe our president genuinely likes Law Enforcement and/or the FOP. If he gets our support, I believe he would simply use this organization strictly as a political tool in his chest, and we would not realize any benefit or support. The FOP and LE overall may not get everything we would like to see take place under Romney, (and he does have his problems), but that would be better than being used or worse. I just cannot vote for or support Obama/Biden.

Mr. Obama has the slick answers, but Mr. Romney has in my opinion even when saying something I disagree with, the most honest answers. Mr. Obama is much more political, saying what we want to hear. Mr. Romney says what he believes.

Your mind is made up and there is no changing it. President Obama will continue to enhance the rights and grouth of the middle class whereas Mr Romney will continue his approach of establishing two classes; the very rich and the very poor. I don’t know many Police officers who are not considered middle class and I can’t believe Romney is going to make them rich. Obama is my choice to protect the rights of the people..

And it appears that your mind is made up as well. I recall being in class when a classmate got upset about comments made about the current president. She stated that she was a staunch member of the President’s political party. I told her that people who set their mind to vote for a label, and do not look at all the options scare me. The same applies here. No matter what happens or is discovered, You will only consider OBama

Excellent set of questions posted by the FOP to the candidates. Obama was able to align more closely with the FOP on a few of the labor related issues at the beginning, but otherwise his answers were largely political fluff. It seemed to me that Romney clearly understood, respected and sympathized more with the general law enforcement perspective and also his views on many of these issues more closely reflect the views shared by most Americans. I was impressed by the candid and pragmatic, yet thoughtful answers he provided.

Leave a Reply