Virginia Dems draft proposal to downgrade assault on police to misdemeanor

antitox

Well-Known Member
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/virginia-dems-downgrade-assault-on-police-to-misdemeanor

The proposal is among dozens of suggested criminal justice reforms

Virginia Democrats are proposing a long list of criminal justice reforms in response to the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, but while some of them – such as banning chokeholds – are aimed at protecting citizens, at least one measure could reduce protection for officers.

According to a document shared by multiple local reporters and retweeted by the Virginia Senate Democrats, the proposals include downgrading the charge of assault on a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor.

“The Senate Democratic Caucus has led and is continuing to conduct a series of community conversations to discuss these issues and we have heard from the public that now is not the time for studies or delay and that changes must be made during our Special Session,” says the document, which is titled, "Senate Democratic Caucus Police Reform and Criminal Justice Equity Plan."

It goes on to say, “We will continue to take public input and work with stakeholders, the House of Delegates, state agencies, and Governor Northam to refine these measures over the next 60 days.”

Currently, assaulting an officer is a Class 6 felony with a minimum penalty of six months in jail and a maximum of five years. Misdemeanors carry a one-year maximum and no minimum.

Virginia state Sen. Scott Surovell told Fox News in a phone interview that assault on an officer has only been a felony since 1997, and that was done as part of a compromise related to harsher treatment of hate crimes. He said that as a result of this, any kind of unwanted contact with an officer including "minor bumps" could be charged as a felony, and that such cases have been prosecuted accordingly.

Surovell, who is also a criminal defense attorney, said that police often tack on felony charges for minor incidents. As a result of the felony charge, defendants face additional pressure to plead guilty, he said.

In addition to reducing the consequences for assaulting an officer, the proposals also include a number of restrictions that would be imposed on police officers to limit the use of force. These proposals include required attempts to de-escalate situations before using force, as well as issuing warnings and exhausting “all other means” before firing shots.

The proposals also call for canceling supplemental funding to local police departments if they have had “disproportionate use of force incidents in their jurisdiction.” Surovell explained that while the details have yet to be ironed out, the idea is that there would be a uniform standard of force, and that if a particular department was found to be disproportionately using force against a particular group over the course of a year, they could face reduced funding.

Additional proposed reforms include prohibiting the searches of people or vehicles based on an odor of marijuana if there is no suspicion of any other offenses, and eliminating mandatory minimum sentences.

“The Senate Democratic Caucus has led in the area of Criminal Justice Reform for years and we look forward to working with the Governor and the House of Delegates to collaboratively enact these policies,” the document says.
 

TimeWarpWife

Well-Known Member
I saw some local county officers coming out of the grocery store yesterday when I was going in and I told them what a great job they're doing and thanked them for their service. I do this every time I see law enforcement people now because I believe they really need to hear there are people who do support and appreciate them. I was at a stop light one day and a lady county officer was beside me with her window down, so I said, "Excuse me" from my car and I saw the look on her face of "oh, boy, more verbal abuse." But when I waved at her and said I appreciated her service and told her how she and all our officers were doing a great job, she got this huge smile on her face. I know what I'm doing isn't much, but sometimes a kind word helps you get through a bad day, which I'm sure a lot of those in law enforcement are having now days. Btw, I cannot think of any of VA's governors who were worse than Ralph "It Wasn't Me in Blackface or that KKK Hood" Northam is - the man is an evil, baby-murdering, despicable, lying, mental pygmy!!! :gaah
 

ByGod'sGrace

under His wings - Psalm 91:4
I saw some local county officers coming out of the grocery store yesterday when I was going in and I told them what a great job they're doing and thanked them for their service. I do this every time I see law enforcement people now because I believe they really need to hear there are people who do support and appreciate them. I was at a stop light one day and a lady county officer was beside me with her window down, so I said, "Excuse me" from my car and I saw the look on her face of "oh, boy, more verbal abuse." But when I waved at her and said I appreciated her service and told her how she and all our officers were doing a great job, she got this huge smile on her face. I know what I'm doing isn't much, but sometimes a kind word helps you get through a bad day, which I'm sure a lot of those in law enforcement are having now days. Btw, I cannot think of any governor in VA who was/is worse than Ralph "It Wasn't Me in Blackface or that KKK Hood" Northam - the man is an evil, despicable, lying, mental pygmy!!! :gaah
Thank you for saying that to them and encouraging them! I saw an officer drive by yesterday in my neighborhood when I was walking, so I waved and smiled and the officer stopped, while sitting in the car, and I said, "thank you so much for being a police officer; thank you for what you are doing!" and she said, "oh that is so kind, I truly appreciate that! Thank you so much!"

Yes, encourage officers! My goodness, this world is bonkers! You don't get unity and change with abuse, hatred, etc. There are more bullies now than I've ever seen in my life. :-(
 

Stormy

Member
I live in Virginia about 70 miles from the West Virginia border. While our area is pretty conservative, we are not being represented in Richmond at all. Between this and the huge list of new laws Northam put out today, I think my husband and I are done. He is taking a couple of vacation days next week so we can start looking at property in WV. Not really relevant to the topic, but just thought I'd share.
 

ShilohRose

Well-Known Member
I live in Virginia about 70 miles from the West Virginia border. While our area is pretty conservative, we are not being represented in Richmond at all. Between this and the huge list of new laws Northam put out today, I think my husband and I are done. He is taking a couple of vacation days next week so we can start looking at property in WV. Not really relevant to the topic, but just thought I'd share.
I get that. We reside in Virginia, too, and we live 50 miles from Richmond. You're right; you're not being represented. The state is run by the larger cities, and the rest of us have no say in anything that happens. Our area is middle of the road, I think. The military moved us here five years ago, and dh retired out here. I hope we'll be moving one of these days, but the areas where Christians will be welcome are getting smaller.
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
In some places, the charge (misdemeanor or level of felony) for assaulting an officer depends on the force and/or injuries inflicted, and the criteria mirror those for assaults on other people. This actually makes sense. There is a huge difference between an asault using a gun, chainsaw, etc., or pepper spray, or a shove. A blanket severity of charge for any assault on an officer is unfair because it is either disproportionately severe or disproportionately lenient in some cases.

There is also culpable mental state. A person, who is genuinely, seriously mentally ill may inflict serious bodily injury to an officer, but might not be charged with an assault.
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
I get that. We reside in Virginia, too, and we live 50 miles from Richmond. You're right; you're not being represented. The state is run by the larger cities, and the rest of us have no say in anything that happens. Our area is middle of the road, I think. The military moved us here five years ago, and dh retired out here. I hope we'll be moving one of these days, but the areas where Christians will be welcome are getting smaller.

During recent elections, some people in St. Louis and Kansas City were upset that rural voters were numerous enough *when added to conservative urban voters) to elect conservatives. The liberals said they weren't being represented because of this. As the population shifts to more urban an less rural in that state, this will likely change, and rural voters will have the same lament.

Right now, I don't feel represented because the elected politicians that are supposed to represent me have beliefs diametrically opposite from mine, and they sometimes do not act in my best interests because they act in the way the majority of the voters expect/demand.
 
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