Wis. legislator announces 'Blue Lives Matter' bill

A Wisconsin legislator is introducing a "Blue Lives Matter" bill to make targeting law enforcement officers a hate crime in the wake of the Dallas shooting


Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin legislator is introducing a "Blue Lives Matter" bill to make targeting law enforcement officers a hate crime in the wake of the Dallas shooting that killed five officers last week.

Rep. David Steffen, a Green Bay Republican, announced his proposal Monday, adding Wisconsin to a growing list of states discussing similar bills.

Louisiana became the first state to enact such legislation in May, allowing prosecutors to seek stronger penalties when police, firefighters and emergency medical crews are intentionally targeted because of their professions. Lawmakers in at least nine other states and at the federal level have floated similar proposals.

Activists are criticizing the growing effort, saying professions don't belong alongside the other characteristics protected under hate crime laws, like a victim's race, religion or disability.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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