Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants to make it a hate crime to attack police.
On Monday, Abbott called on the Texas legislature to pass a law he called the “Police Protection Act,” which would make any crime committed against a police officer a hate crime. That distinction would increase the penalties imposed against anyone convicted of attacking police.
“Under current law, assault with bodily injury is generally punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, while assault on a public servant, including a law enforcement officer, is a 3rd degree felony,” a press release from Abbott’s office stated. “Under Governor Abbott’s proposal, in cases where the assault is on a law enforcement officer, the penalty would increase to a 2nd degree felony.”
The proposal comes on the heels of the anti-police massacre in Dallas where five officers were gunned down and killed by a single gunman, making it the deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11. On Sunday, three police officers in Baton Rouge were gunned down by a man who was intending to kill law enforcement officials.
“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,” Abbott said in a statement.
Lawmakers will likely vote on the proposal during the next legislative session. You can read more about the proposed legislation here.