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Senate passes ‘hate crime’ bill

Honeyford proposal goes to state House

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Sen. Jim Honeyford

— A Sunnyside lawmaker’s bill to protect law enforcement officers cleared a hurdle yesterday.

Senate Bill 5280 passed the Senate 35-14 yesterday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, would make it a hate crime to threaten or assault an officer because of their profession.

From 1960 to 1966, Honeyford was a police officer for the city of Ellensburg.

One of his most harrowing moments came when his firearm was stolen from a patrol vehicle by a criminal who was intent on killing a police officer, he said.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to those willing to risk their lives every day to protect our communities,” Honeyford said. “This bill will help protect police officers and help make sure they can return home to their families at the end of their shifts.”

The issue of violence against police was propelled to the national forefront last year after a series of deadly attacks on law enforcement, he said.

Senate Bill 5280 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.



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