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Oklahoma senator proposes hate crime protections for police officers

The proposal would classify any targeted assault or threat to a law enforcement officer, first responder, or military service member as a hate crime in Oklahoma.
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Police car lights in night time, crime scene, night patrolling the city.

A lawmaker in Oklahoma wants attacks on police officers, first responders or military service members to be classified as a hate crime. 

Oklahoma state senator Casey Murdock announced Tuesday he plans to file legislation to classify any targeted assault or threat to a law enforcement officer, first responder, national guardsman or military service member as a hate crime.

“After the events this weekend in California – and the terrible attack on our police officers in Tulsa earlier this summer – it’s more important than ever to protect our law enforcement officers and the individuals putting their lives on the line to protect our safety,” Murdock said in a press release

A gunman shot and wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in an apparent ambush in their squad car, recently. A 31-year-old female deputy and a 24-year-old male deputy underwent surgery after the shooting Saturday evening and were expected to recover, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Sunday.

RELATED: Gunman sought after 2 Los Angeles deputies shot in patrol car ambush

Oklahoma's hate crime statute currently covers crimes and threats based on a person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or disability, according to Sen. Murdock. 

Oklahoma wouldn't be the first state to classify attacks against police as hate crimes.

In 2016, Louisiana's governor signed what was called the "Blue Lives Matter" bill. It made Louisiana the first state in the country to consider public safety officers a protected class under the hate-crime law. Texas, Kentucky and several other states followed suit, the Associated Press reported. State lawmakers in Alabama and New York proposed similar legislation this year. 

RELATED: Two people charged with hate crime for vandalizing Black Lives Matter mural in California