In the wake of the shooting deaths of three Baton Rouge law enforcement officer, Arizona State Rep. Bob Thorpe has spearheaded an effort to call on the Arizona Attorney General and other prosecutors to charge those who kill officers with hate crimes.
“The attacks upon and murders of our law enforcement personnel across our nation, which are up by 40% over 2015, are just as unacceptable as the radical Islamic terror attacks. In light of the horrific murders on Sunday of 3 police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the 5 officers murdered last week in Dallas, Texas, we call upon the Arizona Attorney General and our county prosecutors to seek Federal hate crimes charges against any individual or group (including those who provide them with financial support) that promotes violence towards Arizona law enforcement, and to also treat them as co-conspirators to commit murder whenever our officers are harmed, especially for racially-motivated reasons. Arizonans must resolutely stand, shoulder to shoulder in support of our law enforcement community.”
Thorpe is joined by State House Representatives Brenda Barton, Paul Boyer, Regina Cobb, Mark Finchem, Anthony Kern, Jay Lawrence, Warren Peterson, Tony Rivero, Kelly Townsend, and State Senators Sylvia Allen and David Farnsworth. The elected officials were also joined by House candidates Richard Hopkins, Paul Mosley, Becky Nutt, Anthony Sizer, and David Stringer.
In May 2016, NPR reported that it is now a hate crime in Louisiana to target police officers. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation “after it had passed easily in the Republican-controlled Legislature,” according to NPR’s Debbie Elliott.
“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,” the governor, a Democrat, said in a statement published by NPR. “The men and women who put their lives on the line every day, often under very dangerous circumstances are true heroes and they deserve every protection that we can give them. They serve and protect our communities and our families. The overarching message is that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Louisiana.”