Senate Bill 2469 adds language that if a crime is committed because the victim’s actual or perceived job is law enforcement, firefighter or emergency medical technician, it would be considered a hate crime just as it would if a person was targeted due to race, gender or religion.
“I want to send a message if we prove they were targeted,” Tindell said.
Tindell said a person who kills a law enforcement officer is already subject to the death penalty under state law. However, under the proposed legislation, a person convicted of aggravated assault or other crimes on a law enforcement officer would also face enhanced penalties, in many cases double the standard sentence with no early parole.
Last year, Louisiana passed a law that has been referred to as “Blue Lives Matter” legislation. That law adds law enforcement officers to the protected class under that state’s hate crime statute. Other states have been considering such bills.