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Louisiana Legislature Considers Hate Crime Protections for Police, Firefighters

April 25, 2016  | 

Louisiana would be among the first states to make it a hate crime to target police officers and firefighters, if legislation that is being pushed at the State Capitol this session is successful, reports the Advocate.

Supporters argue that new protections are needed for law enforcement because of recent cases of targeted crimes against first responders. Meanwhile, critics say the effort is unnecessary and distracts from the point of hate crime laws.

House Bill 953, which would expand the state hate crime law and ultimately increase penalties for certain crimes that target law enforcement and firefighters in Louisiana, passed through a state House committee on Wednesday after little discussion.

"We have a pretty extensive hate crime law right now, but I believe we should add firefighters and policemen," said Rep. Lance Harris, an Alexandria Republican pushing the bill.

HB953 still has to be taken up by the full House and would also have to be vetted by the Senate before it could become law.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 4/25/2016 4:59 PM

I sure hope this legislation is passed. Its a hate crime to target lots of crazy groups but its not a hate crime to target police or firefighters. Something seems messed up there.

Adrian Stroud @ 4/25/2016 6:38 PM

It's about time! Make it Federal.

Adrian Stroud @ 4/25/2016 6:39 PM

It's about time! Make it Federal.

tom @ 4/26/2016 7:12 AM

After all of the hoopla about "black lives matter", why would it be any different for "blue lives matter" ? If it is wrong to assault someone, because of their race (which it is), then shouldn't it be just as wrong to assault someone because of their profession (i.e. cops, firemen, emts) ? The bottom line is that all lives matter and until everyone can come together on this point, and put the shoe on the other foot, we will continue to suffer as a society.

kevcopAz @ 4/26/2016 1:06 PM

I understand the reasons, but appears a bit over kill and knee jerk. I don't know of anywhere in the USA where assaulting an Officer (should be the same as Fire fighters granted) where its not a higher class felony then assaulting a plain citizen. So really why do we need to add any "new" laws to the books. Like many other situations (guns/drugs etc) we should just enforce the laws already on the books and stop making laws based solely upon political whims or political correctness.

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