Texas legislation would make targeting police a hate crime

Representatives want it passed as early as January 2017

By PoliceOne Staff

DALLAS — A proposed bill would make targeting police officers or first responders a hate crime in Texas. 

The bill was filed 24 hours after a San Antonio detective was ambushed in his vehicle while writing a ticket. 

"We're going to ask that it become an emergency legislative item for the governor so that as soon as we get to Austin in January, we pass it right away, make it law right away," Rep. Jason Villalba told KHOU.

After the Dallas ambush that killed five officers in July, Gov. Greg Abbott called for similar legislation.

The penalty for attacking first responders would increase if HB 429 passes.

“Texas will arm our prosecutors, D.A.’s and judges with every tool they need to punish to the fullest extent possible those who harm our first responders,” Villalba said.

According to the news station, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, the Texas Municipal Police Association, and the Dallas Police Association helped write the bill.

Seven of the 58 police officers who have died from gunfire this year have occurred in Texas.

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