Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) will introduce legislation that would make it a hate crime to target a person due to their status as a law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel.
The proposed legislation follows a string of deadly attacks where law enforcement officers have been targeted for violence.
“We depend on police officers and first responders to protect and serve our communities, and they deserve to know that we have their backs,” said Kyrillos. “We cannot allow an entire class of public servants to be targeted for violence due to their profession. If such attacks don’t qualify as hate crimes, I don’t know what does.”
Five Dallas police officers were killed and at least seven officers injured in an ambush on July 7th. During a standoff with officers, the attacker told negotiators that he sought to kill police officers.
In 2014, a pair of NYPD officers were killed while sitting in a parked patrol car in Brooklyn in an “execution-style” shooting.
“All loss of life is tragic including the recent circumstances in Louisiana and Minnesota, but the specific targeting of police is especially outrageous,” said Kyrillos. “I’ve already begun reaching out to ensure that this legislation has the bipartisan sponsorship and support that it deserves.”
By classifying acts of violence against law enforcement officers and other first responders as hate crimes, the penalties upon conviction would be enhanced.
“We hold law enforcement to an incredibly high standard, and the overwhelming majority of officers exceed our expectations despite the difficult and confusing situations they face every day,” added Kyrillos. “It’s a tough job and it deserves the highest respect from all of us.”