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New Mexico may form hate-crimes unit after Texas massacre

11 months 5 days 13 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 November 19, 2019 2:58 PM November 19, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico’s top prosecutor wants to create a special investigative unit to guard against hate crimes and bolster cybersecurity in response to the August mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and other emergent threats.

Attorney General Hector Balderas on Tuesday asked the Legislature to provide funding for five new employees as a precaution against potential attacks on public schools, retail stores and other vulnerable public venues.

Police say a gunman was targeting Mexicans as he opened fire on Aug. 3 at a retail store within 10 miles (15 kilometers) of New Mexico, killing 22 people. More than 40% of New Mexico residents claim Latino heritage.

Officials including Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham have expressed support for possible new criminal statutes related to domestic terrorism and hate crimes.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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