HATE CRIME BILL (H 2443)

By Bob Katzen

Adds an “attack on a police officer which results in serious injury or death” to the definition of a hate crime in Massachusetts.

Current law defines a hate crime as any criminal act “coupled with overt actions motivated by bigotry and bias including, but not limited to, a threatened, attempted or completed overt act motivated at least in part by racial, religious, ethnic, handicap, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation prejudice, or which otherwise deprives another person of his constitutional rights by threats, intimidation or coercion, or which seeks to interfere with or disrupt a person’s exercise of constitutional rights through harassment or intimidation.”

Supporters say that the recent increase in attacks on police officers across the nation is outrageous and that attacks on police officers who risk their lives every day should be a special protected class under the state’s hate crime law.

Sponsor Rep. David DeCoste (R-Norwell) did not respond to repeated requests by Beacon Hill Roll Call to comment on his bill.

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