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Louisiana expands hate crime law to protect police

Police patrol behind a parade on June 1, 2013 in New Orleans, LouisianaAggression toward police officers in Louisiana is now classified as a hate crime, an unprecedented legal expansion roundly criticized by minority rights groups Friday. Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards — the son of a former sheriff — signed the bill in the southern state Thursday, expanding the state’s list of those protected by hate crimes legislation to include law enforcement officials, firefighters and emergency paramedics. “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,” Edwards said.

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