On Tuesday, May 9, the New York State Senate passed the “Community Heroes Protection Act,” which would make crimes that are explicitly committed against law enforcement and first responders punishable as hate crimes.
In current law, police officers and first responders are not included as victims under the current definition of a hate crime. The Community Heroes Protection Act comes on the heels of 135 law enforcement officers being killed in 2016, the most in almost five years, simply because of their jobs. Under the new measure, these offenses will be designated as hate crimes if they are intentionally aimed at first responders based on their position and career.
“The Community Heroes Protection Act will rightly classify these bias attacks against our law enforcement officers and first responders as hate crimes,” said former NYPD officer and co-sponsor of the bill State Senator Marty Golden. “This law will see to it that such an offender receives a punishment that fits this heinous crime.”
The bill has been sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblymember Peter Abbate.