Targeting a police Officer should be a hate crime – support US IN making it one

We publicly advocate for extending hate crime protections to law enforcement officers. 

We believe assaults on police officers often constitute a HATE CRIME and the law should formally recognize it as such. 

A QUICK GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUE

Hoping to deter deadly attacks against police officers, some states want to expand hate-crime laws, which are traditionally confined to characteristics such as race and ethnicity, to cover people who work in law enforcement.

Nearly every state has a hate-crime statute that increases penalties for offenders motivated by hatred of a victim’s race, religion, sexuality or other personal characteristic.

In May 2016, Louisiana became the first state to add police to the list when it passed “Blue Lives Matter” legislation. Now half a dozen additional states are considering similar changes to their hate-crime laws.

Supporters argue the measures, which are backed by police, are a deterrent and send a strong message to police officers that the community stands behind them. 

See where your state stands on the issue in the interactive graph below:

Regardless of whether a crime qualifies as a hate crime, we advocate increased criminal penalties for those convicted of intentionally targeting police officers, firefighters or emergency medical crews.

Texas Update:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reaffirmed his support on Monday, May 1, for the Police Protection Act. The new bill makes it a hate crime to target police officers or first responders. 

The announcement came during the Texas Peace Officer Memorial held at the Texas Capitol. The annual event honors Texas peace officers who have died in the line of duty.

“At a time when law enforcement officers increasingly come under assault simply because of the job they hold, Texas must send a resolute message that the state will stand by the men and women who serve and protect our communities,” said Governor Abbott.