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Bill advances to make it a hate crime to attack police

Bill advances to make it a hate crime to attack police

Bill Stephens

February 9th, 2017


FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky lawmakers have advanced a bill that would make it a hate crime to attack law enforcement officers and other first responders.

The measure cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The bill’s opponents included members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

State Rep. Kevin Bratcher, the bill’s lead sponsor, says people attacking first responders should face “the full brunt of Kentucky law.”

Louisville attorney Julie Kaelin says the bill offers nothing but “lip service.” She says adding hate-crimes status would not give judges the authority to increase penalties for attacking law officers or other first offenders.

A judge could cite the finding of a hate crime in denying probation at the time of sentencing. Such a finding could be cited by the parole board in denying parole.

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