APPLE VALLEY, CA – Today, Assemblyman Thurston “Smitty” Smith introduced a bill to protect peace officers and their immediate families under California hate crime statute.

This bill, AB 2333, would allow for additional penalties if a crime specifically targets a victim as a peace officer. Under the hate crime statute, this additional penalty can result in one to three years in prison added to the offender’s sentence.

AB 2333 is a reintroduction of AB 2 from former Assemblymember Jay Obernolte. Ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers nationwide were up 91% in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to the National Fraternal Order of Police[1]. Last year a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy was ambushed after a deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop[2].

“These violent ambush-style attacks against law enforcement officers are hate crimes, and they need to be treated as such. California’s law enforcement agencies continue to put their lives on the line day in and day out. To target and plan violence against someone based solely on a badge they wear is a motive steeped in hate and should be treated as such.”

AB 2333 is coauthored by Assemblymember Phillip Chen (R-Diamond Bar), Assemblymember Dr. Steve Choi (R-Irvine), Assemblyman Heath Flora (R-Ripton), Assemblymember James Gallagher (R-Yuba City), Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Assemblymember Devon Mathis (R-Porterville) and Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta).

For more information about AB 2333, visit https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

Assemblymember Thurston “Smitty” Smith (R-Apple Valley) is a retired small business owner and a longtime advocate for California’s taxpayers. He is the former three-term mayor of Hesperia. Smitty and his wife, Margaret, have been residents of the 33rd Assembly District for over 32 years, where they raised their two children together. Learn more about Smitty at: ad33.asmrc.org.


[1] https://files.fop.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/report-202105-Officers-Shot-Killed-2020-Report.pdf

[2] https://abc7.com/san-bernardino-deputy-shooting-shot/10959435/