New bill would make attacks on police officers a hate crime

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FOX NEWS - A new bill proposed by Texas state lawmakers would make it a hate crime to target police officers or first responders.

"We're going to ask that it become an emergency legislative item for the governor so that as soon as we get to Austin in January, we pass it right away, make it law right away," said Republican State Rep. Jason Villalba.

The bill, if passed, would toughen the penalties for attacking a police officer, firefighter or other emergency personnel. The first-of-its-kind proposal comes just after an ambush attack killed a San Antonio police officer on Sunday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) urged lawmakers to craft this type of bill in July after five police officers were killed by a gunman in downtown Dallas. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 58 police officers have died in firearm attacks this year, including seven in Texas.