State lawmakers in Virginia are proposing the removal of a powerful legal protection for police officers, a change that would allow those who assault a cop to walk away with a much lighter charge.
Virginia state Senate Democrats announced the proposal Friday as part of a list of potential reforms to the commonwealth’s criminal justice system, the Virginia Mercury reported.
The agenda’s announcement came on the same day rioters assaulted officers protecting a Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond during a violent clash that saw six arrests.
The aggressive protesters peppered cops with paintballs Friday night before throwing “hard objects” at responding officers, the Richmond Police claimed.
OVERNIGHT UPDATE: 6 arrests made pic.twitter.com/ehhoTDJSiU
— Richmond Police (@RichmondPolice) June 27, 2020
One of the individuals allegedly firing paintballs was arrested for assaulting a law enforcement officer, the same charge that Democrats in the state Senate are now seeking to protect violent rioters from.
Along with weakening a charge designed to protect cops, firemen, and EMTs, the sweeping reform agenda proposes removing several other protections from police officers.
State Democrats’ “Police Reform and Criminal Justice Equity Plan” also includes measures to alter courtrooms and the prison system.
Citing the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, lawmakers proposed prohibiting no-knock warrants and chokeholds and requiring officers to exhaust all other means before shooting a suspect.
The agenda would also prevent officers from firing at moving vehicles.
Despite the uncomfortable level of violence police in Virginia and nationwide are now facing, cops in the commonwealth are now finding themselves being held accountable for months-old incidents.
One Alexandria, Virginia, officer, who arrested a suspect before forcing him to the ground in January, is now in the process of being fired from the department as he faces an assault charge.
According to The Associated Press, the officer’s supervisors were also disciplined for not investigating the encounter quickly enough.
While bad police officers need to be held accountable for their misdeeds, the punishment cannot be a general stripping of legal protection from every cop.
Under Virginia’s assault law as it currently stands, criminals have little to gain and much to lose by assaulting police officers and other first responders.
With this protection removed, members of the mob would no longer have to fear a felony for simply assaulting a cop.
As rioters are openly calling for violence against law enforcement officers, it’s clear that this is the worst time possible for Virginia Democrats’ progressive criminal justice experiment.
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