Virginia Has Just Declared Open Season On Police Officers
The Virginia Senate voted 21-15 to pass Senate Bill 5032 which will declare open season on law enforcement officials in Virginia.
The bill will drop assault against a law enforcement officer, firefighter, judge, or EMS from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Eliminates the mandatory minimum term of confinement for an assault and battery committed against a judge; magistrate; law-enforcement officer; correctional officer; person directly involved in the care, treatment, or supervision of inmates; firefighter; or volunteer firefighter or any emergency medical services personnel and provides that such crime can no longer be committed as a simple assault and must result in a bodily injury.
The Senate also removed the mandatory minimum 6-month jail sentence for assaulting a police officer.
“The message to law enforcement is we don’t care about you,” said Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus.
The bill does allow for a person to be charged with a felony if an officer is injured.
“For too long in the commonwealth, there have been cases where the punishment is disproportionate to the crime and will ruin an autistic kid’s life,” said Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond.
Republicans responded citing the recent violence against police officers.
“Have you seen what our police are going through?” asked Sen. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake. “Have you seen the attacks on our police?”
Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, called the proposal “a pretty big insult to our law enforcement community for doing what they’re doing.”
Richmond.com is reporting that the Senate is also set to vote on other law enforcement related bills:
Other police reform bills filed in the Senate would prohibit the use of neck restraints, ban departments from acquiring equipment from the military, require all police officers to be trained in crisis intervention or de-escalation techniques, and set up a fund to pay for body cameras for local police.
Democrats claim that this bill will keep from ruining lives, in reality, it could have the reverse effect. If those fighting police know the consequences are less severe they could be more inclined to fight with police. This creates a dangerous situation where the use of force may need to be increased to control a suspect, which could lead to a police-involved shooting. All of that would happen because Democrats decided to lessen the consequences of attacking a police officer.