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Ky. bill makes targeting firefighters, EMTs a hate crime

Kentucky is the second state to adopt the classification for its first responders

By EMS1 Staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The state of Kentucky now classifies violent acts against first responders as a hate crime.

NY Daily News reported that HB 14 protects law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs while on duty. The “Blue Lives Matter” bill says “offenses committed against an individual because of an individual’s actual or perceived” first responder role will be treated as a hate crime.

The bill was signed into law in March and took effect Thursday. Protesters in Kentucky said the bill could be used against those fighting against police brutality.

Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said the bill might have passed, but it won’t change much in the long run.

“People get real excited — ‘This is a hate crime, this is hate crime.’ But under Kentucky law, it doesn’t really matter all that much if it is a hate crime, because it doesn’t bring any more punishment to the case,” he said.

Sanders said the bill may not increase sentencing, but the judge will have more leniency when denying parole or bond.

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