Texas Lawmaker Files Bill Making Attacks on Police a ‘Hate Crime’
Attacking a police officer might be a hate crime in Texas if a new bill passes.
Texas state Rep. Jason Jason Villalba, a Republican, introduced Texas House Bill 429, which would make attacks against officers hate crimes. The bill would extend similar protections to first responders, KEYE-TV reported.
Villalba is trying to make the bill an emergency legislative item, meaning that it could be voted on in January and becoming a law soon after that.
Earlier this year, Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott called for a similar hate crime law after five officers were shot and killed during an ambush-style attack in Dallas amid protests.
Saying that he’s “tired of all talk and no action,” Villalba tweeted that he filed the bill because hate crime statuses have been a way to “disincent offenders from acting solely out of prejudice or hate.”
“Correspondingly, an offense against a first responder, specifically based on the first responder status of the victim, should also result in heightened punishments, up to and including the death penalty, to the offender,” he added.
Villalba’s proposition comes after a San Antonio police officer was shot and killed on Monday. Det. Benjamin Marconi, a 20-year veteran of the police force and father of two children, was gunned down as he was writing a traffic ticket, according to reports.
On Monday, an Austin, Texas, police officer was injured after a suspect hit him with his vehicle.