New legislation would aim to protect law enforcement - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New legislation would aim to protect law enforcement

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(KWWL) -

It could soon be a hate crime in Iowa to attack a police officer simply because they wear the uniform.

State Representative Ken Rizer says he plans to introduce a "Blue Lives Matter" bill to the legislature next session.

Rizer says the concept came to him in response to recent tragedies like in Dallas where five officers were shot and killed while doing their jobs.

For now, with nothing fully formulated the bill is just a concept.

"Whether the language is written so it's usable remains to be seen, conceptually it's interesting to say the least in practical aspect I'm not so sure how that would work quite honestly," says Brian Gardner, Linn County Sheriff.

Gardner says there are some current laws already in place to protect law enforcement.

"Interference with official acts so if you interfere with my duties if you fight with me, if you cause me harm, if you cause me injury there is already a chapter that deals specifically with that type of an offense," he told us.

Some say they want to learn more and hope all opinions are taken into consideration before passing any sort of law.

"Is there going to be any outreach to community members community organizations that deal with diverse populations and you know just to see how that process took place before it actually becomes something that goes on record," says Lasheila Yates, Executive Director of Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission.

As with anything not everyone will see eye to eye but one thing everyone seems to agree on is that it will be interesting to see where the bill goes.

"What's going to be interesting is how he comes about with the details of that purposed legislation," says Gardner.

Rizer tells me he plans to be in contact with law enforcement and ideally get them on board.

As for now, the details of the legislation remain unseen.

Louisiana recently became the first state in the country to enact similar legislation.

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