Maryland lawmakers are pushing to protect law enforcement officers from hate crimes.
On Tuesday, the House of Delegates heard testimony about House Bill 0025.
Maryland’s current hate crime law states a person may not commit a crime because of another’s race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, or national origin, or because another person is homeless.
If the proposed bill passes, law enforcement officers would be added to the law.
Violators could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, face up to three years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000.
The proposed bill cites the Criminal Law Article to define a “law enforcement officer” as an individual who, in an official capacity, is authorized by law to make arrests and is a member of specified law enforcement units.
The bill is sponsored by Anne Arundel County Delegate Meagan C. Simonaire and Senator Bryan Simonaire.
It was introduced and first read in the house on Jan. 11.