New bill could make assault, murder of police a hate crime

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(WWTI)– Lawmakers are talking about a new bill that would make law enforcement a protected class under federal law.

The “Protect and Serve Act” would mean someone who assaults or kills a law enforcement officer could be charged with a hate crime.

A spokesperson for the Fraternal Order of Police said there’s a war on officers and this kind of protection is needed.

Right now, charges are usually left to the states.

Heritage Foundation legal expert John Malcom said authorities already have all the legal authority they need.

“Any judge, if somebody is convicted, is going to take into account it was a law enforcement officer who was assaulted or killed and will no doubt ratchet up the perpetrator’s sentence,” Malcom said.

Malcom also said it could create confusion about who should prosecute such crimes.

The bill was introduced in February and supporters from both parties say it’s time to take action.

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