Those who have relatives or friends who are police officers—or others who “back the blue” in general—have reason to celebrate, as lawmakers have made it a hate crime to “intimidate, harass, or terrorize” someone because they are a first responder.
The past few months, the left have made calls to defund the police, and seemingly turned a blind eye to violence directed at police and other first responders.
The Georgia legislature recently responded by passing a pair of laws. The first was Georgia’s first hate-crime law. During the bill’s passage through Georgia’s legislature, the bill was split into two, with the other establishing first responders as a protected group. As Law Enforcement Today reported,
“In legislation bill 426, later moved to another bill, House bill 838, it added police officers as a protected class, similar to current hate crime laws.
“The bill makes it a crime to attempt to harass or intimidate any first responder, including police officers. The bill passed as the same time the hate bill crime passed.
“In the language of the law, anyone who harasses or intimidates any law enforcement officer while he/she is performing their lawful duty can be arrested.”
The law is likely to be viewed as timely by supporters given the actions of so-called protesters in recent months. One stark example of the type of things this law could potentially prevent occurred in Richmond, Virginia back in June when protesters intentionally blocked firefighters from getting to a fire.
Another example of the actions this law is likely designed to address occurred in Cleveland, Ohio back in May, when protesters began attacking an ambulance on the way to take care of a patient.
Perhaps now, would-be attackers will give a second thought before targeting police, firefighters, or EMS personnel, knowing it could cost them up to $5,000 and 5 years in jail for each separate charge.