On Thursday, Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana signed the nation's first law adding police officers to the list of protected parties under state hate crime legislation.
The move has drawn praise from within law enforcement circles but criticism remains from those who feel that adding police officers to the list of protected classes dilutes the historic meaning of hate crime legislation.
Governor Edwards, undeterred by the criticism, said, “The men and women who put their lives on the line every day, often under very dangerous circumstances are true heroes and they deserve every protection that we can give them."
He added, "They serve and protect our communities and our families. The overarching message is that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Louisiana.”