Hate crime in Texas: Attacks on the police, the judges, to bring enhanced penalties

The attack of a policeman or a judge in Texas is about a hate crime, after state lawmakers sent Gov. Greg Abbott is a bill at all, but be sure to sign up because he was the first to propose it.

The soon-to-be-right, inspired by the July 2016 murders of five police officers in Dallas, increases the punishment for crimes against the peace officers. It cleared the state Senate this week by a 30-1 vote and all through the House.

“The men and women in uniform risk their lives every day to protect the public, and it is time that we show the State of Texas has their backs,” Abbott said almost a year ago, after the murder of five agents for the protection of the demonstrators at an anti-police brutality march.

It was the deadliest day for American law enforcement officers since 9/11.


The bill now under the direction of Abbott’s office says that the penalties for threatening the peace, officials or judges will be increased from a misdemeanor to a felony, punishable by 180 days to two years in prison. This compares the punishment of criminal offences on the basis of crimes against groups identified by race, disability, religion, national origin, age, gender, or sexual orientation.

Unlawfully restraining or assaulting a police officer or judge would be of the second degree felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Any crime against either the group resulting in serious bodily injury would be a first degree misdemeanor, punishable with a maximum of 99 years or life in prison.

Judges were added to the bill an answer, to help in the protection of people such as Texas District Judge Julie Kocurek, who was shot four times outside her home in Austin in 2015. She survived the attack.


If it is signed by Abbott, as expected, the bill will take effect on Sept. 1. The governor did not respond to requests for comment by Fox News, but recently tweeted an article about the bill’s death, adding #backtheblue.

After the attack on the Dallas police officers, Texas passes bill that attacks on cops a hate crime #backtheblue #txlege

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 25, 2017

“I think this legislation is a long time to wait in a time that we are in fact a war on the police. These accounts are necessary,” Jim Fotis, president of The National Centre for Police, Defence, a non-profit dedicated to helping the police during difficult times, told Fox News. “Definitely police officers are there to do their job and they don’t make every day about someone targeting them.”

Fotis, however, said that he is not sure whether the bill is a deterrent.

“Words are definitely not going to stop some people, but if you are a healthy person, hopefully this will make you think twice before you go after enforcement of the law,” Fotis said, adding that he thinks this is a good first step, but he would like to see a broader federal legislation on a day.


The bill, known as the “Blue Life Law of 2016” and is similar to the Texas legislation, it was proposed in Congress last year, but no action was taken.

Critics say the proposal goes against the intent of a hate was because the police aren’t born cops. And, they say, there are already tough laws for the prosecution of crimes against the police.

“The police, there are plenty of protections already. We arm them and know they have great leeway in the use of deadly force. We protect them with body armor and other gear,” according to an article in the Denver Post, published last year. “Rarely have juries or review panels costs officers in the killing of alleged offenders, but the justice comes down extra hard when one of his own with damage.”

Similar bills to be passed, or at least proposed, in other areas of the country. At least two states, Kentucky and Louisiana, have passed the “Blue Life” law, allowing it to attack a police officer a hate crime.

On 9 May, the New York State Senate passed the “Community Heroes Protection Act” to designate “crimes against the police, fire and emergency medical services personnel as hate crimes.” And, in Alabama this week, State Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat, asked the Alabama House to do the same.

“It is a hate crime,” Rogers said on WBRC Fox6 in Birmingham, “because the attacks of a certain class of people: the police.”

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