- If you get killed because you made someone mad, or they want to steal your car, or because you were in the wrong place in the wrong time, that is one thing. But gangs are specifically targetting cops. We need them to be un-afraid of going into dangerous places. If they are not safe, than none of us are safe. It should be worse to kill cops, because they stand in the place of all of us in keeping our society together, and all that thin-blue-line stuff.
Q: On mandatory death sentences for gang members who kill cops you voted no. Would you explain?
OBAMA: [The proposed legislation] was entirely unnecessary and unconstitutional. It suggested that I could kill a police officer but because I'm not a gang member, I would be treated differently. I think both cases should be death penalty eligible.
KEYES: Senator Obama does not think it superfluous to have hate crimes legislation that adds a special animus to certain acts of violence already penalized against the law. But in order to convey against those certain acts a special category of deviation from society. The law provides a special message aimed at discouraging things considered especially harmful to a society and a community.
Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004