The Texas House of Representatives today gave a green light to a bill to equip police officers with vests that can withstand firing of high-caliber firearms, a move that purports to be a response to the massacre of five uniformed Last year in Dallas.
After a nearly unanimous vote of -140 votes in favor and one against, SB12 bill promoted by Democratic Sen. Royce West now returns to the Senate before finally arriving at the desk of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to promulgate it .
Thus, in the absence of reconciling the proposal approved in the lower house with a similar initiative that obtained the approval of the Senate and after the signature of the Texan leader, this bill would enter into force on September 1, according to the procedure of The Legislature.
The law aims to create and finance a scholarship program worth about $ 25 million to renovate and improve the equipment of approximately 50,000 police officers.
According to the promoters of this law, the measure responds to last year’s Dallas massacre, in which the murderer used a rifle to kill agents, a weapon that many traditional law enforcement vests can not stand.
Five police officers were killed in July 2016 during a demonstration against police violence, in the worst mass killing of US agents since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Sniper Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old African American, fired agents because he wanted to kill white police officers, outraged by the deaths of two black citizens at the hands of security forces in Louisiana and Minnesota last week.
Deputy Dallas Police Chief Gary Tittle acknowledged in a statement to Efe that this measure is a good way to offer respect to his murdered comrades and said he hopes he can save the lives of other agents in the future.
“This is a very thoughtful response by the Texas Legislature and we are very grateful for the creation of this program, which will give us the opportunity to protect ourselves more and better not only our department but all of the state,” said the police authority .
Texas Deputy Gov. Rep. Dan Patrick, who made this bill one of his legislative priorities, said in January that the state would seek ways to continue funding vests every five years, a period in which its properties expire.
“I want to personally thank the lieutenant governor and SB12 advocates for supporting law enforcement with this law,” Tittle said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas Police Association abstained from commenting on this measure as it is an ongoing issue in the current legislative session.
The attack came as demonstrators of the “Black Lives Matter” movement protested the latest incidents of racially-motivated police violence in the country.
The Dallas shooting occurred about five minutes walk from Dealey Square, where on November 22, 1963, former President John F. Kennedy was shot dead by Lee Harvey Oswald, who had fired a rifle from the sixth floor of the warehouse Texas School Book Depository, today transformed into a museum.
The perpetrator of the massacre against the police planned a major attack to “make the agents pay for violence against minorities,” it was revealed at the time.
The investigators said they were “convinced” that the attacker “had other plans” and “thought he was doing the right thing by making the cops pay for what he saw as the agents’ efforts to punish people of color.”
Johnson was prominent between November 2013 and July 2014 in Afghanistan with the Army, and between March 2009 and April 2015 he was part of the reserve as a specialist in carpentry and masonry activities.