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Virginia Senate Democrats Poised To Make It Easier To Assault Police Officers

Jeff Katz
June 30, 2020 - 2:28 pm

Virginia Senate Democrats have released a list of 28 proposals for police and criminal justice reform in the Commonwealth, including one measure which would downgrade assault of a law enforcement officer from a felony to a misdemeanor, according to the Fort Hunt Herald.

The current law states that anyone convicted of assaulting a police officer is guilty of a Class 6 felony and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of six months. This same penalty applies to anyone assaults a person they know to be a judge, magistrate, prison guard, firefighter or some other first responder.

The proposal to "defelonize" assault of a police officer is one of many proposals brought forth by the Senate Democratic Caucus that will be discussed at a special session on criminal justice reform legislation scheduled to take place in August 2020.

Other proposals include:

  • Prohibit No Knock Warrants (Breonna Taylor)
  • Prohibit Hiring of Officers Fired or Resigned During Use of Force Investigations  
  • Create a Decertification Procedure for Law Enforcement Officers
  • Ban chokeholds and strangleholds (George Floyd)
  • Require Attempts at De-escalation Prior to Use of Force
  • Require Warnings Before Shots Fired
  • Require Law Enforcement to Exhaust All Other Means Prior to Shooting
  • Create Duty to Intervene by Fellow Law Enforcement Officers
  • Prohibit Shooting at Moving Motor Vehicles
  • Require Departments to Create a Use of Force Continuum