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Abbott Joins Push To Add Police To Hate Crime Laws

The Texas Governor's Mansion lit in blue after the July 7 police ambush in Dallas.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott today announced a proposal aimed at strengthening penalties for crimes committed against police officers.

His proposed Police Protection Act would extend hate crime protections to law enforcement officers.

“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 statement.

His proposal also includes increasing criminal penalties for crimes against police officers.

The announcement follows the recent fatal shootings of five officers in Dallas and three others in Baton Rouge.

Abbott is joining a growing number of state lawmakers wanting to make attacks against police officers a hate crime. Louisiana became the first state in May to extend hate crime protections to police. Lawmakers in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Wisconsin and other states have floated similar proposals.

Abbott will ask the Texas Legislature to pass Police Protection Act in the legislative session next year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.