Authorities in Texas are cracking down on the Black Lives Matter group, saying they will operate a policy of “zero tolerance” against homegrown threats of terrorism.
Texas Governor Greg Abbot has teamed up with lawmakers to introduce the Police Protection Act, which he says will strengthen penalties for crimes committed against cops.
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“At a time when law enforcement officers increasingly come under assault simply because of the job they hold, Texas must send a resolute message that the state will stand by the men and women who serve and protect our communities,” Abbott said in a news release, according to KTBC.
Abbott said that while Texas and the nation continued to mourn the heroes lost in Dallas, it was time for Texans to unite and say, “No more.”
“The men and women in uniform risk their lives every day to protect the public, and it is time we show them the state of Texas has their back,” Abbott said in the release.
“Texas will no longer tolerate disrespect for those who serve, and it must be made to clear to anyone targeting our law enforcement officials that their actions will be met with severe justice.”
The Police Protection Act will extend hate crime protections to law enforcement officers and increase criminal penalties crimes committed against law enforcement.
The act also aims to create a culture of respect for law enforcement that includes organizing a campaign to educate youth on the value police officers bring to their communities.
Currently, assault with bodily injury to a public servant is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. Under Abbott’s proposal, the penalty against such an assault would increase to a 2nd degree felony.
The measure has been met with approval form several law enforcement organizations. Ray Hunt, President of the Houston Police Officers Association, said he was encouraged by the legislation. Ron Pinkston, President, Dallas Police Association, said the Dallas Police Association applauded the governor. Grimes County Sheriff Donald Sowell, president of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas, said his organization was pleased to see the governor move to protect law enforcement officers.