SANTA FE ― Legislation to amend the New Mexico Hate Crimes Act to include law enforcement officers passed the House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee Tuesday, Jan. 26, by a vote of 4-3. The bill, HB 95, is sponsored by Representatives Nate Gentry and Paul Pacheco.
“Assaulting a person specifically because they wear law enforcement badge should qualify as a hate crime,” Gentry said. “Law enforcement officials patrol the streets and maintain order in our communities, but sometimes our protectors need protection.”
The bill would add law enforcement officers to the list of protected classes included in the Hate Crimes Act. 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 offense.