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Tom Cotton on Crime

 

 


Zero tolerance for destruction during protests

[During Black Lives Matter protests,] Cotton said military intervention may be appropriate. "We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction." Dan Whitfield, an independent seeking to unseat Cotton, said greater firepower will aggravate the problem, not solve it. "We have systematic racism sown throughout our society, and until we take care of that systematic racism, we're going to be facing issues like these protests that are going on now," he said.
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on 2020 Arkansas Senate race , Jun 2, 2020

Death penalty for killing police officers.

Cotton signed death penalty for killing police officers

Congressional Summary: Makes the killing or attempted killing of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other first responder an aggravating factor in death penalty determinations [when] the defendant killed or attempted to kill a person who is authorized by law:

Opposing argument: [Sen. Bernie Sanders, Oct. 13, 2015]: "Black lives matter. The African American community knows that on any given day some innocent person like Sandra Bland can get into a car, and three days later she's dead in jail. We need to combat institutional racism from top to bottom, and we need major reforms in a broken criminal justice system. I intend to make sure people have education and jobs rather than jail cells."

Opposing argument: [ACLU of Louisiana, July 7, 2015]: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill into law that makes targeting a police officer a hate crime. Passage of such bills is a top priority for a national organization called Blue Lives Matter, which was formed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. [A video captured] "police killing a black man who was minding his own business," says the director of ACLU-LA. But it was the civil rights of police officers that Edwards was concerned about, as if theirs were being routinely violated: "I'm not aware of any evidence that police officers have been victimized that would justify giving them special protection."

Source: Thin Blue Line Act 16-S2034 on Feb 9, 2015

Don't compromise community safety with sentencing reform.

Cotton voted NAY First Step Act

Congressional Summary:

Opposing press release from Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-1):: The reform sentencing laws in this bill may compromise the safety of our communities. Criminals convicted of violent crimes would have the opportunity to achieve 'low risk' status and become eligible for early release. California already has similar laws in place--Propositions 47 and 57--which have hamstrung law enforcement and caused a significant uptick in crime.

Supporting press release from Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10):: S. 756 establishes a new system to reduce the risk that [federal prisoners] will commit crimes once they are released. Critically, S. 756 would not only implement these reforms to our prison system, but it also takes a crucial first step toward addressing grave concerns about our sentencing laws, which have for years fed a national crisis of mass incarceration. The bill is a 'first step' that demonstrates that we can work together to make the system fairer in ways that will also reduce crime and victimization.

Legislative outcome: Concurrence Passed Senate, 87-12-1, on Dec. 18, 2018; Concurrence Passed House 358-36-28, Dec. 20, 2018; President Trump signed, Dec. 21, 2018

Source: Congressional vote 18-S756 on Dec 20, 2018

Rated 54% by the NAPO, indicating a moderate stance on police issues.

Cotton scores 54% by the NAPO on crime & police issues

Ratings by the National Association of Police Organizations indicate support or opposition to issues of importance to police and crime. The organization's self-description: "The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) is a coalition of police units and associations from across the United States. NAPO was organized for the purpose of advancing the interests of America's law enforcement officers through legislative advocacy, political action, and education.

"Increasingly, the rights and interests of law enforcement officers have been the subject of legislative, executive, and judicial action in the nationís capital. NAPO works to influence the course of national affairs where law enforcement interests are concerned. The following list includes examples of NAPOís accomplishments:

VoteMatch scoring for the NAPO ratings is as follows:

Source: NAPO ratings on Congress and politicians 2014_NAPO on Dec 31, 2014

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AL: Jones(D,incumbent) vs.Tuberville(R) vs.Sessions(R) vs.Moore(R) vs.Rogers(D) vs.Merrill(R)
AR: Cotton(R,incumbent) vs.Harrington(L) vs.Whitfield(I) vs.Mahony(D)
AZ: McSally(R,incumbent) vs.Kelly(D)
CO: Gardner(R,incumbent) vs.Hickenlooper(D) vs.Madden(D) vs.Baer(D) vs.Walsh(D) vs.Johnston(D) vs.Romanoff(D) vs.Burnes(D) vs.Williams(D)
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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2020