An intentional attack on a police officer can now be prosecuted as a hate crime in Louisiana. Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards signed the so-called "blue lives matter" bill into law on Thursday. It makes Louisiana the first state in the nation to include police and other emergency responders under its hate crime laws, which usually protect people based on race, gender or religion.
Here & Now's Robin Young talks with Associated Press reporter Megan Trimble about the law.
Louisiana is the first state to pass such a measure, but it wasn't the first to try, Trimble said.
"California, New Jersey had two bills, New Mexico, Maryland. Nationally, these types of bills have been filed, Louisiana's the first to get it passed," Trimble said. "Up to this point, in recent reporting, there wasn't really much discussion about it here in Baton Rouge. In the capitol, the legislation pretty much went though easily in both committees in the senate and the house. There was really no debate until it was on the governor's desk, and people started catching wind of this happening."
This segment aired on May 27, 2016.