Gov. Greg Abbott wants the targeted killing of a police officer to be deemed a hate crime in Texas and urged lawmakers to send him such a bill to sign during next year’s legislative session.
Abbott announced Monday his plan to lobby for adding his Police Protection Act to Texas law. Along with extending hate crime protections to law enforcement, the measure would increase criminal penalties for any crimes in which the victim is a law enforcement officer and “create a culture of respect for law enforcement by organizing a campaign to educate young Texans on the value law enforcement officers bring to their communities,” according to a statement from Abbott’s office.
Abbott’s proposal follows weeks of targeted killings of police officers and growing tension over disproportionate encounters between black Americans and law enforcement. In the most recent event, Gavin Long, 29, of Missouri fatally shot three police officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday, according to Louisiana officials.