Senator introduces 'Back the Blue' bill to protect law enforcement officers
HOUSTON – Lawmakers are fighting to protect those who took an oath to serve and protect.
With all the recent acts of violence committed against the women and men in blue, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has introduced new legislation to protect officers.
The new bill is called "Back the Blue" and it seeks to create tougher punishments for anyone who targets law enforcement officers.
It would make it a federal crime to kill or attempt to kill one.
After a devastating week for law enforcement in Dallas, Cornyn's bill aims to protect officers against any type of assault.
"We simply can't paint such a broad brush that we suggest by our silence or by our words that assaults against police officers are in any way acceptable," Cornyn said.
An offender of the "Back the Blue" act would face a minimum sentence of 30 years for murder.
That applies to the killing of a federal judge as well as any law enforcement officer or public safety officer.
"Sometimes local district attorneys are under political pressures, and if there's unrest going on in the community and they choose not to file whatever charge and they choose to file murder instead of capital murder, this will now allow the federal government to step in and say we're going to do this," Ray Hunt, with the Houston Police Officers Union, said.
The new bill would also provide police departments with federal grant money to build relationships with their communities.
"When you bridge that gap, it makes it safer for our police officers and the community because they're communicating with us and we're communicating with them," Hunt said.
The bill now heads to President Barack Obama's desk for approval.