Washington Democrats and left-wing politicians are seeking to limit the power and funding of the police.
And Virginia is no exception.
In a state that currently leans Blue, there have been many calls for sweeping law enforcement reform, and this is a direct result of that outcry:
The Virginia Senate just passed a new police bill during a Virginia General Assembly special session — and it’s already highly controversial.
For many years, it has been a felony to assault an officer of the law. But this bill lessens that charge significantly, provided the officer isn’t injured.
Via The Daily Wire:
The Virginia Senate passed a bill during a Virginia General Assembly special session Wednesday that would allow assaulting a police officer to be a misdemeanor if the person attacked is not injured.
The bill, which was passed by a vote of 21-15, also removes the mandatory minimum six-month sentence for assaulting an officer, according to NBC10 News.
It would allow a judge to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor if the suspect is disabled or the victim was unharmed, the Washington Post reported.
Unsurprisingly, there was heated debate before the bill was passed.
The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Scott A. Surovell, said the bill “does not grant anyone the right to assault first responders.”
However, Republicans couldn’t believe the bill was even being entertained. GOP Sen. John A. Consgrove Jr. was one of several to voice his concerns:
As The Washington Post reported:
What in the world are we doing here?
Have you watched television for the last couple of weeks? Have you seen what our police officers are going through?
And here we are with a bill that’s going to actually make it easier for someone to actually assault a police officer.
Surovell defended his bill by saying that the assaulting an officer charge often results from an arrest becoming “unnecessarily aggressive.” And this happens “a lot more than it should.”
Democratic Sen. Jennifer L. McClellan added that “the punishment is disproportionate to the crime.”
That didn’t sway most Republicans, though, most of whom remain angry and bewildered that the bill was passed.
They also argue that it sends precisely the wrong message to the public. Said Sen. Ryan T. McDougle:
That message to law enforcement is that we don’t care about you.
And we’re sending a message to people that riot in our streets … that if you encounter a law enforcement officer you don’t need to be concerned because if you assault them it’s not as serious.
- Virginia has passed a bill that lessens the officer assault charge. If the officer isn’t injured, it’s only a misdemeanor.
- Democrats claim it doesn’t give people license to attack officers. They also say many charges come from arrests that were “unnecessarily aggressive.”
- Angry Republicans view this as a slap in the face to law enforcement, and the message to cops is: “We don’t care about you.”
Source: The Daily Wire