State police association president wants punishment for social media murder threats

The president of the Combined Police Associations of Texas wants those who call for the murder of officers on social media to face criminal charges.

On Wednesday, an officer walked into the 7-11 at Cameron Road and U.S. 290 in East Austin and found a message written inside a bathroom door that read, "Run over cops at traffic stops or shoot them in the cop car!"

Anti-police sentiment has also appeared in Houston this week in the form of spray-painted police officers with guns beside their heads.

Both are concerning for Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas President Todd Harrison.
"It's gotta stop. It's irresponsible," said Harrison.
But more than that, he fears those who take to social media calling for the murders of officers.
"They sit at home. Do it over the internet and get away with it. Now, the problem becomes when somebody is emotionally unstable reads that or gets exposed to that, that could possibly push them over the edge," said Harrison.
Harrison called upon the president, posting a request on the association website, for a federal law that would make it a crime for anyone to encourage the assault and murder of law enforcement personnel.
Read Harrison's message here
"There needs to be somebody in elected office that finally stands up and says if you're going to do these kinds of things then if something happens and someone gets killed or injured there's a punishment available and you're going to get that," said Harrison.
Harrison says the language should not be considered freedom of speech.
"Our free speech is limited all the time. If you get on an airplane you mention 'bomb' or 'high jacking,' your free speech has been altered because you can't do that. You can't go into a movie theater and yell 'fire,'" said Harrison.
We showed the bathroom message to Austin Police Monitor Margo Frasier.
"When I see somebody calling for the killing of officers simply because they're officers, that really saddens me," said Frasier.
Frasier says the extreme other opinion that police can do no wrong is also upsetting.
"Somehow it seems like we're supposed to be picking sides. I think we need to cool down all the rhetoric and I think we need to be respectful about the fact that people have a right to be concerned about some behavior they see among police. And have the right to be respectful among the behavior they see among the community. And we need to recognize violence of any type is not going to get us anywhere," said Frasier.
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