By: Malcom Chakery
“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.
Currently, assault with bodily injury is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and assault on a public servant, including police officers, is a 3rd degree felony. The governor’s Act consists of the following three proposals:
- Making it a hate crime to violently target police
- Increasing penalties for crimes involving officers, even if it’s not considered a hate crime
- Organizing a campaign to educate Texans on the value of law enforcement officers
“The recent shooting in Dallas is not the first time law enforcement officers in Texas have been targeted. Our goal is to do everything possible to make it the last,” said Governor Abbott. He will ask that Texas legislature passes the Police Protection Act in 2017. Doing so would back the effort of Texas Senator John Coryn’s “Back the Blue Act, which would make it a federal crime to kill, attempt to kill, or aspire to kill a police officer.
“The men and women in uniform risk their lives every day to protect the public, and it is time we show them the State of Texas has their back. Texas will no longer tolerate disrespect for those who serve, and it must be made clear to anyone targeting our law enforcement officials that their actions will be met with severe justice,” said Governor Abbott.
However, Louisiana lawmakers proposed a similar Act in May, but it was opposed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The Louisiana Director of the ADL said that counting professional categories as a hate crime deterred from protecting people for identity-based crimes.
Police officers across Texas support the Protection Act and urge other states to create a similar Act, to protect the people who risk their lives every day.
“The Dallas Police Association applauds Governor Abbott’s bold plan in response to the recent wave of attacks on police officers. Now is the time for our elected leaders across our state and country to do the right thing and join our Governor in his call to better protect police officers.” – Ron Pinkston, President, Dallas Police Association