(Jefferson City)–A bill that would add crimes against first responders to the “hate crime” designation has been filed by State Representative Bennie Cook of Texas and Pulaski Counties. House Bill 898 would add a victim’s employment as a law enforcement officer or first responder to motivations to be considered hate crimes. According to Cook, this step is necessary to protect those who put their lives on the line to serve others. They frequently find themselves in dangerous situations, but they should not be subject to further harm by unruly mobs or onlookers.
“The point of this bill is to give some teeth to the punishment of those who seek to harm first responders,” Cook says. “We’ve seen an increase in the last few years of people targeting law enforcement, and that’s simply not acceptable for someone who is serving the people.”