LOUISIANA — A new law goes into effect Monday that expands Louisiana’s hate crime statute to include the targeting of police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel, CNN reports.
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“Coming from a family of law enforcement officers, I have great respect for the work that they do and the risks they take to ensure our safety,” CNN reports Edwards said after signing the bill. “They deserve every protection that we can give them.”
The bill, Act 184, is also called the Blue Lives Matter bill.
For the entire bill, click here.
The bill was passed weeks before three officers were killed and three others were injured in an attack on a Baton Rouge highway. An ex-marine ambushed the officers after reportedly spending days planning his attack.
The Baton Rouge ambush followed on the heels of the Dallas, Texas, attack on officers, both cases involving skilled gunmen and multiple casualties.
CNN reports that under the new law, if a defendant is convicted of a hate crime, they could face additional penalties, more time in prison and fines.
Louisiana was the first state to add one’s chosen vocation to the hate crime list, CNN reports. Prior, hate crimes were considered as such if the victims were targeted for their race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation.