JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri state senator who’s a former sheriff is condemning violence against police and says targeting law enforcement officers is a crime of hate.
Republican Sen. Mike Parson on Thursday called to rally behind law enforcement after recent fatal shootings of police in Baton Rouge and Dallas. Parson is running for lieutenant governor. He says an officer was killed in the line of duty while he was Polk County’s sheriff, and another was shot six times but survived.
Parson says protests shouldn’t be used as a shield to commit crimes.
Parson says one option is to make targeting police classified as a hate crime under state law.
Louisiana in May became the first state in the nation to expand hate-crime laws to protect police, firefighters and emergency medical crews.