Republican senator wants to make attacks on law enforcement a hate crime

Politics

Oklahoma Senate, AP

OKLAHOMA (WFLA) — An Oklahoma lawmaker will file a bill later this fall that would classify any targeted assault or threat to law enforcement as a hate crime.

Under current law, crimes with specific intent to incite or cause violence against a person based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or disability are prohibited.

Republican Sen. Casey Murdock says targeted crimes against police officers should be added to that list.

“Attacks against our peace officers are absolutely a hate crime because they are targeted based on their profession,” Murdock says.

The law would protect not only law enforcement, but also first responders, national guardsmen, or military service members.

“After the events this weekend in California – and the terrible attack on our police officers in Tulsa earlier this summer – it’s more important than ever to protect our law enforcement officers and the individuals putting their lives on the line to protect our safety,” Murdock said. “With the hatred and unrest in this country, we must classify these careers as a protected class.

The bill can be filed as early as Nov. 15 ahead of the Jan. 21 bill introduction deadline. The 2021 legislative session begins Feb. 1.

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