Governor Greg abbot continues to push for the Police Protection Act.
The proposed act calls crimes against police, hate crimes and brings strict punishments.
While law enforcement agencies are praising the act, some say it’s a big step in the wrong direction.
“I don’t think actually it’s a good or accurate way of protecting police officers” said Ohireime “Ohi” Eromosele
Eromosele is not directly affiliated with Black Lives Matter but is a supporter and has demonstrated at rallies in the Rio Grande Valley.
A Palmhurst native, Eromosele said he’s seen racial prejudices against him in the Rio Grande Valley.
“There is an element of anti-blackness I found [in the Rio Grande Valley]” said Eromosele via Skype. At the time of the interview, Eromosele was in Washington, D.C. visiting Howard University
He believes, crimes against police shouldn’t fall hate crimes.
“Something that is considered a hate crime against someone’s part of their identity, [it’s] an immutable part of them. For example, your sexual orientation, your race, your religion things like that. Things like that are part of you that you can’t take off at night.. “ said Eromosele.
He feels Governor Abbott and lawmakers should focus on both community and law enforcement protections.
Law enforcement agencies are praising the proposed act.
Harlingen Police Officer Larry Moore said “there can never be too much protection for police or anybody for that matter”
Officer Moore believes other states will follow Governor Abbott’s lead and pen legislation of their own in their states as well.
Governor Abbott and Officer Moore are on the same page, believing harsher punishments will detour crime.
“Maybe they [criminals] will think twice about committing a hate crime against a police officer knowing those penalties will be a lot higher” said Officer Moore.
Eromosele doesn’t agree and feels crimes against police are already taken seriously enough.
Eromosele also believes those who harm police, don’t necessarily care about the repercussions.
“For example in Dallas, the person that committed those heinous shootings against those officers he was not somebody who seems particularly concerned with the consequences” said Eromosele.
He believes Governor Abbott’s Police Protection Act is “vague” and there hasn’t been a “sustained campaign of injustice” against police to call to legislation. “It doesn’t really make sense to add them as a class of people who protected… ” said Eromosele.
Governor Abbott will request the Texas legislature to pass the Police Protection Act in the 2017 legislative session.