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Oklahoma lawmaker planning legislation to classify attacks on police as hate crime

Police officers stand outside St. Francis Medical Center on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Lynwood, Calif. Two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies were shot in an apparent ambush Saturday.
Police officers stand outside St. Francis Medical Center on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Lynwood, Calif. Two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies were shot in an apparent ambush Saturday.(Source: AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 12:42 PM EDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY (Gray News) - An Oklahoma state senator plans to file legislation that would make attacks on police, first responders and military members a hate crime.

Republican Sen. Casey Murdock said recent events, including attacks on law enforcement officers in Tulsa and Los Angeles, prompted him to try expanding the state’s hate crime statute.

“After the events this weekend in California – and the terrible attack on our police officers in Tulsa earlier this summer – it’s more important than ever to protect our law enforcement officers and the individuals putting their lives on the line to protect our safety,” Murdock said.

“With the hatred and unrest in this country, we must classify these careers as a protected class. Attacks against our peace officers are absolutely a hate crime because they are targeted based on their profession.”

Oklahoma law currently classifies hate crimes as those directed against a person based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or disability.

State lawmakers can begin filing legislation in November ahead of the 2021 legislative session, which begins in February.

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