Democrats in the Virginia state Senate have proposed reducing the charge for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor, according to the Fort Hunt Herald.
The proposal comes with a number of other police reforms including the banning of no-knock warrants, banning chokeholds, requiring police to warn before shooting, and creating a “duty to intervene” for officers who see other officers committing acts of misconduct.
Currently, assaulting a police officer is a Class 6 felony that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of six months of confinement. The Democrats’ proposal would “defelonize” the offense and make it only a misdemeanor.
“The deaths of Floyd, [Ahmaud] Arbery and [Breonna] Taylor have awoken Americans and Virginians to long-standing problems in policing in America,” Virginia Senate Democrats said in a statement. “After people are arrested, additional damage is done by a criminal justice system that has been streamlined to produce convictions and punishment instead of rehabilitation and justice.”