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Abbott pushes for hate crime status for targeted killing of police officers

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Gov. Greg Abbott wants the targeted killing of a police officer to be deemed a hate crime in Texas and urged lawmakers to send him such a bill to sign during next year’s legislative session.

Abbott announced Monday his plan to lobby for adding his Police Protection Act to Texas law. Along with extending hate crime protections to law enforcement, the measure would also increase criminal penalties for any crimes in which the victim is a law enforcement officer and “create a culture of respect for law enforcement by organizing a campaign to educate young Texans on the value law enforcement officers bring to their communities,” according to a statement from Abbott’s office.

[…]

“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 Monday in a statement

Abbott’s proposal comes after U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would make killing a police officer a federal crime.

I don’t have a position on these proposals yet; I’d like to see some analysis by policy experts first. What I do know is that the mostly conservative opposition to hate crime bills in the past has been on the grounds that they are redundant and thus unnecessary. The politics in this case are a lot different than they were in the past, and I fully expect to see people espousing very different views on this than they might have 20 years ago. To the extent that Greg Abbott’s views on such legislation of yore can be ascertained, it would be useful to ask him why and how his opinion on hate crime laws have changed, if indeed they have.

UPDATE: Lisa Falkenberg and Murray Newman have some fully-developed thoughts on the subject.

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3 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Shameless pandering by Abbott. It’s already an enhanced penalty for most crimes when a cop is the victim. Can’t we just let the crime speak for itself, instead of making special groups more equal than others?

    Assault someone? Non protected class victim: 1 year in jail. Protected class victim: 5 years in jail. How is this justice? The punishment for the crime should be the same, regardless who the victim is, or what the motivation for the crime was.

    I’m assuming whoever robbed my business a couple of years ago didn’t do it because that person loved me.

  2. Terrance Jewett says:

    This does nothing to help the current situation. Instead of trying to punish he should try to understand.