An Oklahoma senator files a bill to make violent crimes specifically targeting law enforcement a hate crime. If found guilty of murdering an officer, criminals would spend the rest of their lives in prison or be sentenced to death.
Senate Bill 96 was inspired by an attack that took place on July 7, 2016. A day that marked the deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since the September 11 attacks.
“It's an attack because of their employment, and that's because they are a police officer. Because they are out standing between good and evil, they are attacked,” said Oklahoma Senator Darrell Weaver.
Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers and injuring nine others, simply because of what they stood for.
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“Those officers were shot, basically because they were police officers. It wasn’t the duty that they were performing, but because they were police officers,” said Weaver.
And that's the crux behind the bill.
“We want the people who are actually doing that job to be safe and they shouldn’t be targeted. What profession is targeted, what employment, what profession because of who they are?” said Weaver.
Under SB 96, those found guilty would be locked up for life or face capital punishment.
“The bottom line is, if they will ambush a police officer and injure them, and go to that extreme, then trust me, they will injure your home and whatever,” said Weaver.
He says if passed, the bill would send a message to anyone gunning for Oklahoma’s peace keepers.
“I think there is a tool here that says, you know what, we are not going to tolerate that if it happens,” said Weaver.