/Police officers could be protected class under hate crime law

Police officers could be protected class under hate crime law

State Senator Philip Moran (R-Kiln) and Sen. Sean Tindell (R-Gulfport), announced Wednesday that they are currently drafting a bill to accomplish exactly this. Moran stated that the Senate’s legal department is currently working on the bill and they intend to file the bill before the 2017 session which starts in January. Tindell, who is the chair of the Senate Judiciary A Committee, stated that there is currently an 20- to 30-year maximum penalty for aggravated assault on a police officer. Anyone convicted of aggravated attack could get more time if the bill is passed. The death penalty is available for killing a police officer. This comes after the murders of two police officers in Baton Rouge, and Dallas. It also follows growing tensions over the shootings of black men by officers. Tindell stated that it would be considered a hate crime if the attack is directed at law enforcement officers. This is a hate offense by definition and should result in harsher penalties and more scrutiny. Mississippi’s hate crime law currently applies to any misdemeanor or felony that is committed due to “the actual or perceived color, ancestry or religion, natural origin, or gender”. Louisiana passed an identical law earlier this year, expanding its hate crime statute to include law enforcement officers. The Washington Post reported that it was the first law to include police officers among the protected classes. Louisiana’s House Bill 953 amends state statute to make it illegal to choose a victim of crime based on any list of characteristics such as race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or “because of actual, perceived membership in, or employment with an organization or because of actual, or perceived employment law enforcement officers or firefighters ” Moran explained about the urgency of moving the bill. “There is a feeling in America that enough is enough, and this must be stopped. “We hope this will at minimum shed some light on it and get some people’s attention,” Rep. David Baria (D-Bay St. Louis) said that he considered filing a similar bill after being approached by many constituents, including Mike Favre, a Bay St. Louis councilman. “I spent a few days looking into the implications of it. Baria stated that it looked like this could be a good idea for someone who is not a victim to murder, such as an assault on a police officer. It could also double the penalties and act as a deterrent. Baria stated that he would support Moran’s bill, provided it was well-drafted and did what was needed. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding those who live in Mississippi. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think. Republish this Story You can freely republish our articles online or in print under a Creative Commons licence. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.