Louisiana approves first-ever 'Blue Lives Matter' law

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Louisiana Approves First-Ever 'Blue Lives Matter' Law

An attack against a first responder could now be considered a hate crime in Louisiana.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a so-called "Blue Lives Matter" bill into law on Thursday, making attacks against police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel potential hate crimes.

"This law could help be a deterrent to anybody who is thinking about harming a police officer or firefighter just because they wear a badge and a uniform," Bossier City Public Information Officer Mark Natale told KMSS.

Under Louisiana state law, those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes are required to pay up to a $500 fine and can receive an additional sentence of up to six months.

Those convicted of felony hate crimes must pay fines up to $5,000 and could get up to an additional five years of prison time.

The bill easily passed Louisiana's House and Senate with bipartisan support. It's the first law of its kind in the U.S.

But while it might've garnered plenty of legislative support, it's still a controversial idea for some, including Black Lives Matter activists.

Photos from a Black Lives Matter protest in Minnesota:

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NTP: Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protest
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Louisiana approves first-ever 'Blue Lives Matter' law
A protester in a sleeping bag gets some rest at the Black Lives Matter encampment, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. The fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer has pushed racial tensions in the city's small but concentrated minority community to the fore, with the police precinct besieged by the makeshift encampment and many protesters. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Black Lives Matter protesters and supporters march from the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct to the Federal Building in Minneapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. The fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, a black man, by a Minneapolis police officer, has pushed racial tensions in the city's small but concentrated minority community to the fore, with the police precinct besieged by the makeshift encampment and many protesters. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Black Lives Matter demonstrators maintain their encampment, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct in Minneapolis. The fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer has pushed racial tensions in the city's small but concentrated minority community to the fore, with the police precinct besieged by the makeshift encampment and many protesters. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A protester has some words with Minneapolis police officers on bikes as a Black Lives Matter protest continued, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, at the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A Black Lives Matter supporter, left, tries to keep a Minneapolis police officer from removing a pallet at the BLM encampment at the Fourth Precinct, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minneapolis police guard the entrance to the Fourth Precinct as Black Lives Matter supporters protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jamar Clark's sister, Danielle Burns, right, grieves as she and other family members gathered during a news conference held by the Minneapolis Urban League, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. Jamar Clark was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an apparent struggle with police on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Black Lives Matter supporters hug after Minneapolis police poured water to extinguish an encampment fire as they continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, outside the Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minneapolis police guard the entrance to the Fourth Precinct as Black Lives Matter supporters continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Protesters with covered faces stand with a Black Lives Matter demonstration outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis.It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jamar Clark's sister, Javille, center, accompanied by other family members, addresses a news conference held by the Minneapolis Urban League, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. Jamar Clark was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an apparent struggle with police on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Black Lives Matter supporters continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A Minneapolis police officer stands guard atop a vehicle as Black Lives Matter supporters continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, at the Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Tiffany Burns, left, is comforted by her sister Javille Burns, as they listen during a news conference held by the Minneapolis Urban League, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. Their brother, Jamar Clark, was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an apparent struggle. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A family member (in red) of Jamar Clark hands a tissue to Clark's sister Danielle Burns as family gathered during a news conference held by the Minneapolis Urban League, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. Jamar Clark was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an apparent struggle with police on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A Black Lives Matter supporter, left, talks to Minneapolis police guarding the Fourth Precinct entrance, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Hundreds of Black Lives Matter supporters continued their protest, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis. It was the fourth day of protests of the killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jamine Clark points to the name of his brother, Jamar Clark, on an upside-down flag bearing names of people killed at the hands of police outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Minneapolis. Black Lives Matter demonstrators have set up an encampment at the precinct which is near the site of the Sunday shooting of Jamar Clark by a Minneapolis police officer. Clark has been taken off life support. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Members of Black Lives Matter continue their encampment, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct. More than 50 people were arrested during the second day of protests over the shooting of Jamar Clark by a police officer during an apparent struggle. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Members of Black Lives Matter continue their encampment, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct. Protesters said they would continue the precinct sit-in until authorities release any video they have of the incident as well as the officer's identity. Clark has been removed from life support. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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"If everyone is a protected class, then really no one is a protected class," Black Lives Matter activist Melina Abdullah told NBC News.

State Rep. Lance Harris, who wrote the bill, says he was motivated by the killing of Texas sheriff's deputy Darren Goforth in August. Goforth was shot and killed in uniform while refueling his patrol car at a gas station near Houston.

In all, 41 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty last year in the U.S., according to FBI statistics, which also say that's a decline of nearly 20 percent from the year before.

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