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Proposed legislation aimed to protect law enforcement

Posted at 9:16 AM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 09:16:44-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As loved ones prepare to lay to rest two Florida police officers killed in the line of duty, a lawmaker is pushing for new protections for those in uniform across our state.

This bill, if passed, would increase the penalties for anyone who kills a police officer.

Senator Rene Garcia from Hialeah is the bill’s sponsor.  If passed, killing a police officer would become a hate crime.  Charges would go from a first degree misdemeanor to third degree felony.

Under Florida law, a hate crime is any crime committed by one person against another person or their property based on their personal characteristics.

Here's a list of different characteristics included under hate crimes:
· Race/color
· Gender/gender identity
· Religion
· Ethnicity/ancestry/national origin
· Sexual orientation
· Advanced age
· Mental/physical disability
· Homeless status

If the bill passes, expect to see law enforcement officers and emergency service employees included on this list.