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New Legislation Could Bring Bigger Penalties To Those Who Threaten Law Officers

Georgia legislators carried on talks this summer on ways to better protect our law officers, following several physical attacks nationwide against the men and women in blue.
 
District 30 state senator (R-Carrollton) Mike Dugan is on the senate’s public safety committee who held the talks. He says at one point, the committee considered writing legislation to make it a “hate crime” to assault an officer.
 
“We are not going to make it a hate crime,” Dugan said Monday. “Our perception is that every crime committed against a person is a hate crime. You don’t have ‘love crimes’ out there.”
 
45 states and the District of Columbia have statutes criminalizing various types of bias-motivated violence or intimidation (the exceptions are Arkansas, Georgia, whose hate crime statute was struck down by the Georgia Supreme Court in 2004.
 
On May 26, 2016, Louisiana was the first state to add police officers and firefighters to their state hate crime statute, when Governor John Bel Edwards signed an amendment from the legislature into law.
 
“What we are doing is treating it like a terrorist attack, which has a whole different set of laws and punishments,” Dugan said. “That is what we have been doing this summer is drafting a bill to where it almost becomes a terroristic threat if you target law enforcement officials. But, the term ‘hate crime’… we wont label this as a ‘hate crime.’ We don’t have ‘hate crimes’ in Georgia.”
 
Dugan was a guest on Monday’s WLBB Community Voice. That entire show is posted on the www.newstalk1330.com website.
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