Bill would make attacking a police officer a hate crime in Maine

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AUGUSTA (AP) — A Maine Republican legislator wants to make it a hate crime to single out and attack a police officer.

Republican Rep. Karleton Ward’s bill would address those who commit crimes against a person because of that person’s status as a law enforcement officer, firefighter or emergency medical care provider.

It would also apply to a first responder’s property.

A work session is scheduled Friday.

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Another Maine Republican’s bill would create the crime of aggravated assault on a police officer.

In 2015, law enforcement agencies told the FBI that 50,212 officer were assaulted while performing their duties. Of those, about 28 percent sustained injuries.

In New England, the assault rate was 11.9 per 100 officers, above the national rate.

Maine State House is the state capitol of the State of Maine in Augusta, Maine, USA.

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