Tell Full VA Senate: Vote YES SB357

Protect Vulnerable Populations

Protect Our Most Vulnerable Populations

NOTE: This bill has passed through committee and will soon come to a vote in the full VA State Senate.

According to the Virginia State Police, most charges of assault on a law enforcement officer do not actually result in any injury to the officer. The most trivial physical contact with a law enforcement officer—or no contact at all—can result in felony charges: brushing up against an officer's shoulder in a crowd, splashing water onto an officer's arm, pulling away while being handcuffed, or even raising one's fists when an officer is nearby. But every one of these offenses are punishable by up to five years in prison, with a mandatory minimum term of six months.

The statute gives law enforcement extraordinary power to punish those who insult or defy them. This power is often directed at people of color, juveniles, and individuals with mental health disorders or intellectual or developmental disabilities. Amending the felony assault on law enforcement statute improves public safety by removing vulnerable people from our criminal justice system who do not belong there.

Ask the Virginia State Senate to support SB357, amending the assault on law enforcement statute to protect our most vulnerable populations from arrest and prosecution.

SB357: Reduces the penalty for assault and battery of a enforcement officer...
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