Virginia Senate passes bill allowing assaulting a police officer to be a misdemeanor

Bill removes mandatory jail sentence


RICHMOND, Va. – A controversial bill is moving forward during the current Virginia General Assembly special session.

On Wednesday, the Virginia Senate voted 21-15, completely along party lines, to pass Senate Bill 5032, which would allow an assault against a law enforcement officer to a misdemeanor if the person attacked is not hurt.

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Here’s the summary of the bill:

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.

Summary of Senate Bill 5032

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The bill also removes mandatory minimum 6-month jail sentence for assaulting a police officer.

Here’s a breakdown of the vote:

YEAS-- George Barker, John Bell, Jennifer Boysko, Creigh Deeds, Adam Ebbin, John Edwards, Barbara Favola, Ghazala Hashmi, Janet Howell, Lynwood Lewis, Mamie Locke, Louise Lucas, David Marsden, Monty Mason, Jennifer McClellan, Jeremy McPike, Joseph Morrissey, Chapman Petersen, Richard Saslaw, Lionell Spruill, Scott Surovell--21.

NAYS-- Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Hanger, Kiggans, McDougle, Newman, Norment, Peake, Pillion, Ruff, Stanley, Suetterlein--15.

NOT VOTING-- Mark Obenshain, Bryce Reeves, Richard Stuart, Jill Vogel--4.

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