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Damon Allen Act signed into law, creating more protection for officers

Texas State Capitol
Posted at 8:01 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 21:01:48-04

WACO, TX — Texas lawmakers took the mic Monday in Houston after another bill becomes law -- The Damon Allen Act.

The law aims at protecting law enforcement and helps keep dangerous criminals behind bars. Some said the law is flawed, potentially keeping people in jail that deserve bail. Others add it is keeping the community safe.

After getting through the second Special Legislative Session, Senate Bill 6 is now law.

"This is one of those bills where I would have called special session, after special session, after special session until we got it passed," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.

Abbott said this bill aims to protect law enforcement after a tragedy struck the small town of Groesbeck.

On Thanksgiving day of 2017, Trooper Damon Allen performed a routine traffic stop where he was shot and killed by an offender out on bail. House Member Reggie Smith said the bill does a few things.

"It implements a public safety report which will provide more information and gives more info about a defendant's criminal history," Smith said. "The second it will involve the bond list."

It will also allow judges to deny bail if they believe the person is a danger to society. State Representative Ann Johnson voted against the bill saying it exploits and discriminates. Trooper Allen's wife Kasey Allen said she hopes this law will protect officers and keep offenders behind bars.

"My life and my kid's life were forever changed by actions that can't be taken back," Allen said. "The Damon Allen Act will be one of many ways I will keep Damon's memory alive and I'll forever be grateful for this opportunity."

The law comes on the heels of many cities across the country moving to defund the police. Cities like Portland and Seattle moving funds out of law enforcement. Gov. Abbott assures this will never happen in Texas and points to this law as another layer of protection for officers.

"There is increasing disrespect for law enforcement, disrespect for authority," Abbott said.