Rep. Nate Gentry Pre-Files Measures to Honor and Protect Law Enforcement Officers
Santa Fe, NM – Today, Rep. Nate Gentry pre-filed legislation to increase penalties for criminals who target police officers. The bill, HB 95, would amend the New Mexico Hate Crimes Act to include law enforcement officers to the list of protected classes included in the Act.
“The people who protect us need protection themselves from violent criminals who want to hurt cops,” Gentry said. “Some criminals are motivated to specifically target law enforcement. Harming someone because of the uniform they wear should qualify as a hate crime.”
The bill would add more time to the sentences of individuals convicted of committing violent crimes against law enforcement officers if the crime was proven to be motivated by hate. The first conviction would result in one additional year added to the person’s sentence, and individuals could see an additional two years added to their sentences for a second or subsequent offense.
Gentry also introduced a memorial honoring and recognizing the sacrifices law enforcement officers have made in the line of duty. The memorial acknowledges the unselfish dedication of law enforcement to serve and protect New Mexicans despite the dangers and risks that confront them every day. The memorial also pays tribute to Officer Lou Golson, an Albuquerque officer who was severely wounded in the line of duty, as well as Officers Gregg Benner and Daniel Webster who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2015.