Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill Thursday that would expand the state’s definition of hate crime to include crimes that target police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers.
A hate crime is usually considered so if the victim is targeted because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other identity-based characteristics—but Louisiana is the first state to add the victim’s profession to the list, according to CNN.
Under the law, being convicted of a hate crime in Louisiana adds extra penalties to the sentence, which could be up to five more years in prison for felonies or up to another six months in prison for misdemeanors.
The bill was drafted after a Texas sheriff’s deputy was abused, shot and killed while in uniform in August, according to the network.
“Coming from a family of law enforcement officers, I have great respect for the work that they do and the risks they take to ensure our safety,” Edwards said Thursday. “They deserve every protection that we can give them.”
- Taylor Swift Is TIME's 2023 Person of the Year
- Meet the Nation Builders
- Why Cell Phone Reception Is Getting Worse
- Column: It's Time to Scrap the Abraham Accords
- Israeli Family Celebrates Release of Hostage Grandmother
- In a New Movie, Beyoncé Finds Freedom
- The Top 100 Photos of 2023
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time