Senators introduce measure floating years of prison for those who injure cops
Lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would penalize people with up to 10 years in prison if they seriously injured a police officer, BuzzFeed News reported.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Senate version of the bill, which is co-sponsed by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.) is sponsoring the House version of the legislation.
Hatch said in a statement that the bill ”makes clear that no criminal will be able to escape justice when he singles out and assaults those who put on the badge every day to keep us safe.”
Official FBI statistics from the past decade show fluctuations in the numbers of officers killed in felony homicides. And all 50 states already have measures in place to discipline those who injure law enforcement officers, according to BuzzFeed.
Police groups are advocating for the measure, claiming officers are at a higher risk than before.
However, civil rights groups are warning that the legislation, which echoes language used in hate crime laws, could manipulate the intent of those hate crime measures, the website reported.
“There is no doubt that police work is a dangerous undertaking, but the reality is that there has been a continuing decline in the number of officers killed or assaulted in the line of duty over the last several decades,” groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund said in a letter to senators.